Gujarat HC asks State govt to publish data on COVID-19 tests, Positive Patients

A day after raising indecision about the actual number of COVID-19 cases and the numbers given by the State government during its hearing on the suo motu petition initiated by it, the Gujarat High Court on Friday asked the State to publish actual data on RT-PCR tests and people found positive for COVID-19.

The Court, in its order made public on Friday, suggested that the Gujarat government make arrangements to issue “statement by (a) responsible officer of the state with regard to the number of positive coronavirus patients, number of deaths due to Covid and number of deaths due to Covid with comorbidity so as to restore faith and trust in the minds of public at large”.

A division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Bhargav D. Karia, which had held a hearing on the Covid situation with Advocate General Kamal Trivedi appearing on behalf of the state government, was dissatisfied with the "rosy picture" painted by the government as the prevailing situation was opposite its claims. The high court, in its order, ordered the state government to increase the existing RT-PCR testing facilities and ensure the reduction of time to get the reports. It also ordered that accurate reporting of the RT-PCR results to be made public.

"The state should not feel shy of publishing the correct data." Regarding the public perception about remdesivir injections being a miracle drug and Trivedi's explanation that the drug was over-prescribed, the court ordered that remdesivir's administration and its dependency should be explained and communicated to the public through various print, electronic and social media, so that the deficit and misuse by black marketers stop.

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