Pulling up the Civil hospital in Ahmedabad for its handling of COVID-19 cases, the Gujarat High Court on Saturday said: “Human life is precious and cannot be wasted.”

Court further labelled the hospital a “dungeon” and pointed out that poor and helpless patients had no option but to rely on it during this medical crisis.

According to the reports, over 350 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported from the hospital.

“As we said earlier that the Civil Hospital is meant to treat the patients. However, it appears that as on date, it is as good as a dungeon. Maybe even worst than a dungeon. Unfortunately, the poor and helpless patients have no option,” the order read.

“If we calculate weekly deaths, the Civil Hospital still contributes to the highest number of deaths during the last eight weeks. It is very distressing to note that most of the patients in the Civil Hospital are dying after four days or more of the treatment. This indicates a complete lack of critical care,” the court said.

The court also slammed the Health Minister Nitinbhai Ratilal Patel, seeking a report from Vijay Rupani-led state government.

“We are very sorry to state that the Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad, as on date, appears to be in extremely bad shape. Ordinarily, the citizens hailing from a poor strata of society are being treated at the Civil Hospital. This does not mean that human life is not to be protected. Human life is extremely precious and it should not be allowed to be lost at a place like the Civil Hospital at Ahmedabad,” the order read.

“We wonder, how many times the Health Minister of the State has visited the Civil Hospital at Ahmedabad so as to keep a watch or take stock of what is going on at the Civil Hospital. Does the Health Minister of the State of Gujarat has any idea about the problems which the patients, doctors, nursing staff and other employees are facing as on date?” the court asked during the hearing.

The Civil Hospital is located in Asarwa area and is also regarded as one of the biggest civic-run medical facilities in Asia.

“It has been submitted that at the SVP and Civil Hospital, all the COVID-19 patients are being treated in a general ward only, and the rooms continue to remain unoccupied leading to an artificial shortage of beds,” the court said.

Gujarat has reported over 13,000 Covid-19 cases and 829 deaths so far due to the third-highest state tally after Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

(With inputs from PTI)