HC expresses anguish over absence of protocol for oxygen need and supply

The court observed that a centralised data of oxygen bottling plants, their capacities, and availability of oxygen have not been been created.   | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

The High Court of Karnataka expressed anguish as the State government on Thursday admitted that it has no written guideline or protocol for the procurement and the supply of oxygen and the data on oxygen requirement in different districts and taluks even as COVID-19 cases crossed 50,000.

It appears that a centralised data of oxygen bottling plants, their capacities, and availability of oxygen have not been been created apart from not forming a centralised data of requirement of oxygen in hospitals spread in different taluks and districts, the court observed.

Pointing out that a State oxygen war room created in Bengaluru cannot function effectively without the centralised data of requirement, procurement, supply, and utilisation, the court directed the government to immediately issue a written guideline or protocol in this regard immediately

A Special Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar, issued the direction while hearing PIL petitions on issues regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bench also directed the government to inform the helpline numbers of of oxygen emergency control room to every stakeholder related to oxygen requirement and supply in every taluk and district to ensure that there is no gap in the timely supply of oxygen. Every hospital must be informed about the guideline issued on May 4 on optimum use of oxygen, the Bench said.

Meanwhile, the State government said the Union government has sanctioned 28 pressure swing absorption (PSA) units, a technology to generate oxygen at a local level, for Karnataka and the State government, on its own, decided to set up 40 more such PSA units, having a capacity to generate oxygen required for 15-20 beds per day. While six to 10 of these 68 units will become operational by May 15, the remaining will start functioning by May 25, the court was informed.

Also, the State government told the Bench that the Centre has allotted to Karnataka 20 MT of oxygen received from Bahrain and 20 MT sent by OCI as part of foreign aid to India.

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 8:01:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/hc-expresses-anguish-over-absence-of-protocol-for-oxygen-need-and-supply/article34499856.ece

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