Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court Thursday asked the state government to spell out the steps it has taken to check the spread of swine flu in the state where over 170 deaths have been reported.
The court notice came after a PIL accused the state government of "callousness" in tackling the outbreak.
The high court bench of acting Chief Justice V M Sahai and Justice R P Dholaria also directed the government to ensure that private hospitals provide free treatment to the affected patients.
The government must ensure that poor people get treatment in private hospitals and that there is an adequate supply of medicines, it said.
The bench directed state chief secretary to monitor the steps taken by government to provide free treatment to patients and submit a report on February 26, which is the next date of the hearing.
The PIL filed by law graduate Devarshi Patel alleged that the government was not doing enough to tackle the spread of swine flu.
He alleged that the deaths due to H1N1 virus has touched new heights in Gujarat due to "callous approach of the government".
He further stated that though Ahmedabad civil hospital is providing free treatment, there is no space available to accommodate new patients.
Patel also alleged that private hospitals are refusing to admit H1N1 affected patients and are charging high fees for treatment and medicines.
He has sought the HC's intervention and direction to the state government on the issue.
One hundred and seventy six people have died due to swine flu in the state while 2191 cases have been detected.