Coronavirus | Saving lives the bottom line, Delhi High Court tells Centre

Volunteers prepare beds with oxygen concentrators and oxygen cylinders at a Covid Care Centre inside Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya, as coronavirus cases surge in New Delhi, Tuesday, April 20, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Laying down the bottom line that no life should be lost due to lack of oxygen, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Centre why oxygen supply has not been diverted from steel and petroleum industries to hospitals to tide over the emergent COVID-19 situation.

A Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli made the remark during an urgent hearing on a petition by Max Hospital (Patparganj) claiming shortage of medical oxygen for treatment of critical COVID-19 patients.

During the initial part of the hearing, the court ordered the Centre to take over the supply of oxygen at steel and petroleum industries.

It later withheld the order till 3 p.m. on Thursday after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, assured the court that allocated oxygen, which was increased from 350 to 480 metric tonnes, would be facilitated to Delhi.

The court was later informed that Max Hospital and its associate facilities have received oxygen needed for the day. Max Hospital said its associate hospitals currently have 1,400 patients who are critical and on oxygen.

The Bench has asked the Centre to protect the right to life of citizens and to supply oxygen by any means necessary. “This is an emergency of grave nature. Human lives are not important for the State, it seems,” it said.

“We are shocked and dismayed that the government does not seem mindful and sensitive to the extreme and emergent need of medical oxygen by hospitals treating serious patients,” the court said .

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 10:30:43 AM |

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