VINDICTIVE: The Central government, after passing a bill making the Lt Governor the ultimate boss in the Delhi Administration, has been rationing supply of oxygen to hospitals run by the Delhi government. This has resulted in several deaths due to the shortage of oxygen.
By Aparna Banerjea
In the light of the repeated refusal of the Central government to give the Arvind Kejriwal government the allotted supply of 700 MT of oxygen, an angry Supreme Court has set up a task force to monitor oxygen supply throughout the country. However, the Central government has strongly objected to ‘overzealous’ judicial intervention.
Amid oxygen supply crisis in the wake of rising novel coronavirus cases in the country, a Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice DY Chandrachud, in its order, constituted a National Task Force (NTF) to assess, recommend the need and distribution of oxygen for the entire country, reported news agency ANI.
The task force, which has medical experts and doctors from across the country as its members, will have Cabinet Secretary to the Union Government as its convenor.
As per the details, this task force will be specifically addressing issues relating to streamlining oxygen allocation to different states, reviewing and suggesting measures to ensure availability of essential drugs and medicines, and adopting remedial measures to ensure preparedness for future emergencies.
The Supreme Court in its order said that the National Task Force members will be:
1)Dr Bhabatosh Biswas, Former Vice-Chancellor, West Bengal University of Health Sciences, Kolkata
2)Dr Devender Singh Rana, Chairperson, Board of Management, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi
3)Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairperson and Executive Director, Narayana Healthcare, Bengaluru
4) Dr Gagandeep Kang, Professor, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu,5) Dr JV Peter, Director, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
6) Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairperson and Managing Director, Medanta Hospital and Heart Institute, Gurugram
7) Dr Rahul Pandit, Director, Critical Care Medicine and ICU, Fortis Hospital, Mulund (Mumbai, Maharashtra) and Kalyan (Maharashtra)
8) Dr Saumitra Rawat, Chairman & Head, Department of Surgical Gastroenterology and Liver Transplant, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi
9) Dr Shiv Kumar Sarin, Senior Professor and Head of Department of Hepatology, Director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Science (ILBS), Delhi10) Dr Zarir F Udwadia, Consultant Chest Physician, Hinduja Hospital, Breach Candy Hospital and Parsee General Hospital, Mumbai
11) Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India (ex officio member)
Meanwhile, the Union health ministry had earlier said the global community has extended support to India and the country has got 2,933 oxygen concentrators, 2,429 oxygen cylinders, 13 oxygen generation plants, 2,951 ventilators/ Bi PAP/ C PAP and more than three lakh Remdesivir vials delivered so far.
“The global community has been extending a helping hand in supporting efforts of India to meet the challenges and requirements of the unprecedented surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the second wave of the global pandemic.
“This is a reflection of solidarity and goodwill towards India. The Union Government has ensured the global aid is being effectively and promptly allocated and delivered to States and UTs to strengthen their efforts during this critical phase,” it said.Moreover, the Indian Railways is running ‘Oxygen Express’ trains and will continue to run them over the next few days to transport liquid medical oxygen and oxygen cylinders across the country. Roll-on-roll-off trucks are being transported on flat wagons by the trains for a quick supply of medical oxygen.
So far, the Railways has delivered around 1,125 MT of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) in 76 tankers to various states.
According to the Ministry of Railways, 20 Oxygen Express trains have already completed their journey and seven more loaded Oxygen Express trains are on the run carrying around 422 MT of LMO in 27 tankers.
India reported a slight dip in new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours with 4,01,078 more people testing positive. The cumulative caseload in the country now stands at 2,18,92,676, said the Union health ministry on Saturday morning.Maharashtra continues to be the biggest contributor to the daily tally as the state reported 54,022 new cases on Friday. Out of these, 3,039 cases were seen in Mumbai.
However, the daily fatalities are continuing to show an upwards trend. As many as 4,187 more people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative death toll to 2,38,270.