The Supreme Court ordered the Center to ensure that Delhi’s shortfall in demand for 700 tonnes of oxygen per day is corrected by midnight on May 3 at the latest. Distribution of essential supplies and services during the pandemic.

The three-judge bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Nageswara Rao and Ravindra Bhat noted that the existing oxygen allocation for Delhi remained at 490 metric tons per day, while the projected demand had increased by 133% to 700 metric tons per day. day, and therefore had to be remedied.

The central government itself had admitted in its affidavit filed with the Supreme Court that the Delhi government had revised its projected oxygen demand by 133% from 490 tonnes per day to 700 tonnes per day. To this, the court said: “This situation must be corrected immediately. The situation on the ground in Delhi is heartbreaking.

The Supreme Court noted that the arguments put forward by the Center and the Delhi government are not helping citizens. The Center had argued that Arvind Kejriwal’s government was slow to raise the amount of oxygen allocated while the Delhi government maintained that despite its projected demand, the amount allocated had not been increased.

“The recriminations between the central government and the GNCTD cannot bring any comfort to the citizens whose lives depend on the availability of a thin stream of oxygen,” said the court. He ordered the central government and the state government to cooperate on this issue.

“In the battle to transfer responsibility for the supply / uptake of oxygen, the lives of citizens cannot be endangered,” the order recorded. Further, he said: “Protecting the lives of citizens is paramount in times of national crisis and the responsibility lies with both the central government and the GNCTD to cooperate to ensure that all possible measures are taken to resolve the situation. . . “

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that he would ensure that the oxygen deficit is corrected and that supply is made to the Delhi government based on their projected demand (which may be revised in the future) in the future. day by day.

Emergency oxygen buffer stock

The high court noted that while central and state governments are in the process of managing the oxygen supply, it is also essential that an emergency oxygen buffer stock is created so that in the event of a disruption supply chain for either more hospitals in an area for whatever reason, buffer or emergency stocks can be used to prevent loss of life.

These emergency stocks must be distributed in such a way that they are easily accessible without delay in all local areas, the court suggested. He said: “We have also seen the situation that has developed over the past 24 hours in Delhi where patients, including medical professionals, have died due to the disruption of supplies and delay in delivery. ‘arrival of tankers.’

Thus, he ordered the central government to correct these deficits at any time by creating buffer stocks and collaborating with the states on a daily basis through the virtual control room. “In view of the deaths caused daily by the disruption of supplies, this direction is more crucial than ever,” reiterated the Court.

The location of emergency stocks, according to the Supreme Court, must be decentralized so that they are immediately available if the normal supply chain is interrupted in a hospital for any reason. Emergency stocks are expected to be created within the next four days by May 6.

For better transparency, the Bench also suggested a mechanism to display real-time updates of each state’s oxygen supply to hospitals in each district, as well as the remaining oxygen stock with hospitals that might. be maintained and shared with citizens to ensure transparency. . “It will also ensure that citizens can easily identify hospitals where medical assistance can be provided,” said the bench.

Delhi hospitals continue to send SOS tweets for help amid acute oxygen shortage. Batra hospital lost eight patients including a doctor due to a lack of oxygen supply on May 1. Madhukar Rainbow Children’s Hospital (New Delhi) tweeted on May 2 that it would not admit patients requiring oxygen or ventilation assistance due to inconsistent liquid oxygen delivery. They also added that they did not have enough supplies after 11 p.m.

Likewise, Akash Healthcare took to Twitter to say that they were only getting 5 oxygen cylinders and that there were around 250 patients left with no more than an hour of supply. After receiving enough supplies to last them overnight, the hospital said, “We got help and got oxygen overnight. Sincere request to our authorities to regularize the flow to avoid such near-death crises. “

Courtesy: Sabrang India

The command can be read here: