Ensure Delhi gets oxygen supply by midnight: SC to Centre
The Supreme Court of India has directed the central government to make sure that national capital Delhi receives its deficit oxygen supply by the midnight of Monday, May 3. The directions by Justices DY Chandrachud, LN Rao, and S Ravindra Bhat came even as Delhi continues to face an acute shortage of medical oxygen amid spiralling coronavirus cases. Here are more details on this.
SC advises Centre to create a buffer stock of oxygen
India's top court said the Centre should prepare a buffer stock of medical oxygen for emergency purposes in partnership with state governments, adding that the location of such stocks should be decentralized. "The emergency stocks shall be created within the next four days and are to be replenished on a day-to-day basis, in addition to the existing allocation of oxygen supply to the states."
Centre asked to prepare national policy on hospital admissions
The Supreme Court has also given Centre a period of two weeks to formulate a national policy on admissions to hospitals. It said that until the implementation of such a policy, no patient shall be denied hospitalization or essential drugs due to lack of a local residential proof or even an identity proof. The matter is listed for next hearing on May 10.
Centre should reconsider protocols on vaccine pricing: SC
The apex court also directed the Centre to reconsider its initiatives and protocols, including on the availability of oxygen, availability and pricing of coronavirus vaccines, and the availability of essential drugs at reasonable prices. The fresh orders mean the capital city will be supplied with 700 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen by the May 3 deadline.
Delhi reports 20,000 cases, 400 deaths in a day
In the last 24 hours, Delhi reported more than 20,000 fresh coronavirus cases and over 400 deaths. The active caseload was pushed near to one lakh. However, the positivity rate fell below 30%. Meanwhile, several hospitals across Delhi have been sending out desperate SOS alerts over oxygen shortage in the past couple of weeks while dozens lost their lives due to the dearth.
Last week, 12 died due to oxygen shortage
On Saturday, at least 12 patients, including a doctor, died at Delhi's Batra Hospital after the private facility ran out of oxygen supply. The hospital was allegedly without oxygen for 80 minutes after around noon that day. Earlier, at least 20 coronavirus patients had died at the Jaipur Golden Hospital in Delhi due to a shortage of oxygen.
The catastrophic COVID-19 situation in India
India has been gripped by a dreadful second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, which experts have blamed mostly on mutated strains of the virus and mass gatherings. In the last 24 hours, the country logged over 3.68 lakh new COVID-19 cases. Active cases have crossed the 34 lakh-mark. Meanwhile, 3,417 fatalities took the death toll past 2.18 lakh.