Covid-19 | Lack of clarity on buffer stock of liquid medical oxygen, says Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday remarked there was lack of clarity on the steps taken by the Centre for setting up buffer stock of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) in the capital to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic even as a third wave is anticipated.

“Today the situation may look fine but then everyone saw what happened in April-May. There is no escape from this [buffer stock of LMO]. This is like insurance,” the Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh said.

The Bench said the status report filed by the Centre does not indicate that buffer stock of LMO is actually created for the use of Delhi and it only talks of enhancement of oxygen storage capacity here.

In April, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre and the Delhi government to create appropriate buffer stock of LMO in the capital.

Reminding the government of the top court’s order, the Bench said, “Creation of buffer stock cannot happen in a week or two. You will need to first install necessary infrastructure for that.”

During the hearing, senior advocate Raj Shekhar Rao, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae in the case, said it was not clear whether a buffer stock of LMO exists in Delhi, and to what extent.

The Central government’s standing counsel said the Delhi government had done enough for creating a buffer stock.

The Delhi government, represented by senior advocate Rahul Mehra, said the capital had a buffer stock of around 420 metric tonnes of LMO kept at different places with suppliers outside Delhi and by August 31, the Delhi government will transfer this stock to Delhi.

The Centre said that the manufacturing capacity of Liposomal Amphotericin B, used for treating patients of black fungus, which primarily affects those who have recovered from COVID-19 and was in short supply earlier, had been augmented. It said the centralised allocation of the medicine to States has been discontinued and now they [the States] will have to procure the drug directly from manufacturers.

In a status report, the Centre said that there had been a fall in the cases of black fungus, which numbered 28,475 on June 27, to 18,833 on July 30.

The High Court was hearing various issues related to the COVID-19 crisis. It will hear the petition again on August 23.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 1:24:39 PM |

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