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29 Jan, 2023
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The Apex Court Orders Centre to Resolve Delhi’s Oxygen Crisis

Due to a deficit supply of oxygen in Delhi, 25 people died last week and 12 on Saturday – this must be rectified before Sunday midnight, Supreme Court stated.

The apex court also directed the center to coordinate with state governments in order to create a buffer stock of oxygen that can be used in an emergency. The Supreme Court also ordered to decentralize the locations of these reserves and create emergency stocks within four days.

Justices DY Chandrachud, S Ravindra Bhat, and LN Rao passed a detailed 64-page order (the directions on oxygen supply) after their hearing on Friday. They ordered to continue to send out frantic SOSs to Delhi hospitals, including Madhukar Rainbow Children’s Hospital.

The main focus of extended hearings in Delhi High Court is oxygen supply to Delhi. It warned the center to ensure Delhi received its quota.

Enough is enough; Delhi is not asking for more than allocated. If the center can’t supply allocation today, you will have to give the explanation on Monday, the high court said.

Delhi has asked for 970 MT of oxygen per day, but the center only allotted 590 metric tonnes. Before Saturday, Delhi was getting only 490 MT of oxygen supply.

The supreme court ordered the center to formulate a national policy on admissions to hospitals within two weeks. All state governments shall follow the policy. The apex court also said the center and states to notify all DGP/CP/chief secretaries- if any person is harassed seeking/delivering help, the supreme court will conduct a coercive exercise of jurisdiction against the culprit.

The Supreme Court also ordered that until the central government formulates a national policy, no patient shall be denied essential medicines/hospitalization in any states or UTs even if the person doesn’t have his identity proof.

The central and state governments may consider imposing a lockdown or ban on mass gathering to curb the spread of Covid-19. The court also said that if the lockdown was imposed, the central and state governments must make arrangements to fulfill the basic needs of communities.

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