The Kerala High Court on Thursday suggested that the State government should consider taking over 50 percent of all hospital beds for a limited time period to accommodate COVID-19 patients (Adv Sabu P Joseph v. State of Kerala and ors). .A Bench of Justices Devan Ramachandran and Kauser Edappagth said that adequate and affordable medical treatment is non-negotiable. "Can you take over unused hospitals, perhaps 50 percent of all hospital beds in Kerala. This is only for a short period, one or two months," the Bench asked. .The Court also said that everybody who is ill, should get medical treatment from the nearest hospital even if the hospital is a 5-star one. "Three facets are non-negotiable - non discrimination in access to public facilities, adequate medical treatment, affordable medical treatment. Does not matter whether hospital is 5-star. If I am ill , I must be given best medical treatment in the nearest hospital... The access to right to health is not defined by private investment ... we are in the context of a public health pandemic," the Court underscored. Adequate medical treatment that is not affordable becomes a chimera, the Court added. .The Court was hearing a plea moved over the pricing of medical treatment in private hospitals amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The matter was adjourned today after the Court was informed that a meeting is scheduled to take place on the issue later this evening. .Among other measures, the Court also suggested that the State may take cue from an order passed by the Andhra Pradesh government on April 30 with respect to the charges fixed for treatment at private hospitals. State Attorney KV Sohan assured the Court that the same has been taken note of. .The Court will hear the matter again on Monday, May 10, when it is likely to deliver its verdict. "We will sit, lockdown or otherwise since this is a very important matter. We will deliver judgment on Monday," the Court orally remarked. .Though an intervention application was moved on behalf private testing laboratories conducting RT-PCR tests, the Court declined to entertain the same, particularly since issues concerning RT-PCR testing are presently pending before another Bench of the High Court. .Kerala will be going into complete lockdown from Saturday due to the exponential surge in COVID-19 cases in the State.