The Madras High Court on Monday noted that the Tamil Nadu government did not replace the Health Secretary to avoid loss of momentum in its fight against COVID-19.
“Upon the new government taking over the State, there have been changes in key personnel. Learned Advocate-General R. Shunmugasundaram, however, makes over a report prepared by Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan, and it is evident that continuity in the office of the Health Secretary has been maintained to ensure there is no loss of momentum or lack of rhythm in continuing measures to fight the pandemic in the State,” the court said.
Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy made the observations while hearing a PIL petition, taken up suo motu, to monitor measures taken by the Centre and the State government to control the spread of the pandemic. After taking note that the number of new cases had increased from 24,898 on May 6 to 28,897 on May 9 in the State, the court said there appeared to be some indication that the rate of increase may be tapering off.
However, the court took note of a submission made by senior counsel M.S. Krishnan that TNMSC should begin supplying Remdesivir in private hospitals, instead of selling them through counters on the campus of the Kilpauk Medical College in Chennai, which has been witnessing crowding ever since the government began selling the drug to patients in private hospital too, on production of requisite medical reports.
“This is one area that should be looked into by the State with immediate effect as all patients may not have available representatives to stand in queue at government outlets to obtain the drug and, in any event, verification of the requirement together with proper certification may be better done at a government-to-private hospital basis with a degree of accountability if it is ultimately found that the private hospital may have tinkered with the details or eligibility criteria,” the Bench ordered.
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