MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the Maharashtra government to file a reply to a PIL seeking that drugs used to treat COVID-19 patients be made available directly at hospitals, isolation and quarantine centers where such patients were being admitted.
The direction was given by a bench led by Justice K K Tated while hearing the PIL (Public Interest Litigation) filed by a local NGO, All Maharashtra Human Rights Welfare Association.
The plea claimed that since drugs crucial to treating COVID-19, such as Remdesivir, and an injection Actemra, are available only at select chemists, a patient loses much time in availing treatment.
The patient's caregivers need to "procure the drugs and also have to pay much more than the maximum retail price on many occasions," the petitioner's counsel, Prashant Pandey, told the HC.
Pandey said if these drugs were instead made available at hospitals or isolation centers where COVID-19 patients were being provided treatment, much time would be saved.
Also, hospital staff will be able to provide patients with immediate care, he said.
The state's counsel, Purnima Kantharia, however, sought time to file a reply.
The court directed the state to file its reply by October 2.