New Delhi: The Central government has formed expert committees to inspect government and other COVID facilities following directions of the Supreme Court, which took cognizance of shortcomings in the care of coronavirus patients in different hospitals in the country.

Constituted by the Ministry of Health, the expert committees have been tasked to inspect, supervise and guide the government and other hospitals dedicated to COVID-19, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey told the Rajya Sabha on Sunday.

The Ministry of Health has written to all the states and union territories with regard to prescribing reasonable rates for testing and treatment of COVID-19, Ashwini Choubey said in a written reply.

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He said the central government has issued an advisory to all states that dead bodies of suspected COVID patients be handed over to their relatives immediately without waiting for laboratory confirmation and the body be disposed of as per guidelines on dead body management issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Ashwini Choubey was listing the response by the government to the observations made by the Supreme Court on the "callous and insensitive" manner in which government hospitals in certain states were treating COVID-19 patients and handling cremation and burial of bodies.

Hospital infrastructure in the country for managing COVID-19 cases is being continuously monitored by the central government.

States have been advised to prepare for requisite surge capacities to manage cases in accordance with existing and projected growth rates. States have been supported in terms of logistic and financial requirements for setting up COVID treatment facilities.