The Madras High Court conveyed to the Center on Friday the need to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, drugs and oxygen in all states and Union territories of the country.

The court hopes that the Center will inform the government of Tamil Nadu and the administration of Pondicherry, at least by Monday, of the number of vaccine doses that will be allocated to them for the universal adult vaccination campaign, which is due to start leaving. Saturday.

Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy made this observation after Additional Solicitor General R. Sankaranarayanan requested time to submit the number of vaccine doses and remdesivir vials that had been allocated by the Center to Tamil. Nadu and Pondicherry. Attorney General Vijay Narayan said that although the state government has ordered 2.5 lakh vials of Remedesivir, only 59,000 have been allocated to date.

“Due to the inadequate allocation, the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation draws from its own reserve stocks and continues to provide the drug for the benefit of patients admitted to private hospitals, at cost of ₹ 1,568 per vial, over the counter. . established on the campus of Kilpauk Medical College Hospital. So far 8,750 vials have been provided to the needy, ”said the GA, responding to a suo motu public interest litigation resumed by the court.

Stressing that the government could not continue to sell its reserve drugs, intended for patients in public hospitals to those in private facilities for a long time, the GA said the government had already written to the Center, requesting an increase in supplies. As the state receives more and more vials, it will consider establishing similar meters in other major cities, he told the court.

State oxygen requirements

Further, stating that the oxygen requirement in the state had exceeded 385 tonnes per day, the auditor general said the requirement was met by making full use of the state’s manufacturing capacity and pulling gas from Pondicherry.

The allocation of 280 tonnes to Tamil Nadu under the National Oxygen Plan was disproportionately low compared to the state’s active workload, and therefore Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami objected diversion of oxygen to other states, he added.

It was also brought to the attention of the court that 280 public hospitals and 463 private facilities provide treatment for COVID-19 in the state.

Of the 1.72 lakh beds available in all 743 COVID-19 hospitals and health centers, 1.01 lakh had been demarcated for COVID-19 patients, the GA said. In addition to 36,223 oxygen beds, 7,405 ICU beds and 6,517 ventilators were available for these patients, he added.

Given the demand, 12,527 oxygen beds were added in 38 districts, of which 576 were put into service. In addition, 3,676 beds are expected to be ready by Friday, and the rest by May 7, the GA said, referring to a report filed by Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan. After hearing him, judges adjourned the case until Wednesday to get details from the Center.

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