The Supreme Court, in an order issued late Sunday, ordered the Center to ensure that the oxygen deficit to treat COVID-19 patients in the nation’s capital is corrected no later than midnight on May 3.

A special bench led by Judge DY Chandrachud ordered the Center to act “in collaboration” with states to “prepare a buffer stock of oxygen for emergency purposes and decentralize the location of emergency stocks”.

“Emergency stocks are to be created within the next four days and must be replenished on a day-to-day basis, in addition to the current allocation of the oxygen supply to the states,” the Supreme Court ordered in an order of 64 pages. dated April 30, but posted May 2.

The order was booked on Friday.

“Central and state governments will notify all Chief Secretaries / Directors General of Police / Police Commissioners that any crackdown on information on social media or harassment caused to people seeking / providing assistance on any platform will involve a coercive exercise of competence by this Research. The (Judicial) Registrar is also responsible for placing a copy of this ordinance before all the district magistrates of the country ”, declared the Bench of the Supreme Court, also including judges L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat, directed against any gag on the use of social media to voice grievances about the shortage of oxygen, life-saving medication and hospitalization.

“In these difficult times, those who desperately seek help for their loved ones on these platforms should not see their misery compounded by the actions of the state and its instruments. In addition, there are two other crucial reasons why such a crackdown on information sharing must absolutely be stopped immediately … Information sharing widely is in itself an important tool in combating public tragedies, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, ”said the court.

Admission standards

The court gave the Center 14 days to formulate a national policy on hospital admissions that will be followed by all state governments.

“Until such a policy is formulated by the central government, no patient will be able to be refused hospitalization or essential medicines in a state / UT for lack of local residential proof of that state / UT or even in the lack of proof of identity, ”the order dictated.

The court ordered the Center to review its initiatives and protocols, including on the availability of oxygen, the availability and price of vaccines, the availability of essential drugs at affordable prices, and to respond to any other issues raised. evidence in that order before the next court date. , that is to say on May 10.