The Supreme Court on Thursday began hearing the case on supply of oxygen to Delhi, asked the Centre to revamp its formula for distribution of oxygen across the country. The government counsel apprised the court as to how the Centre will provide oxygen to the Delhi hospitals.
It has been suggested by the Centre to adopt a pan-India approach so that they can prepare for the third wave of Covid-19. As the third wave of a pandemic might be different from the first two, therefore, the Centre has asked to look at the oxygen audit and reassess the basis for allocation.
Justice DY Chandrachud told the Centre, “But if we prepare today, we will be able to stage 3…. A buffer stock needs to be created.”
A significant stock of oxygen is there in Delhi hospitals at present, told Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta to the apex court. He said states like Rajasthan, Jammu, and Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh are also asking for more oxygen to cater to their hospital demands.
On the procurement and supply of oxygen to various states, the centre submitted its detailed plan to the Supreme Court.
However, Justice Chandrachud told the Centre to look at the issue of oxygen supply on a pan-India basis. He said that there is a need to look at oxygen audits and also reassess the basis for oxygen reallocation.
At present health professionals are in complete fatigue, how you will ensure better health care facilities,” Justice Chandrachud said. “What will happen between and Monday? You (Centre) must augment supply and give 700 MT oxygen to Delhi,” he ordered.
The court further observed the need for a buffer stock of oxygen on an urgent basis. “We need to prepare for the third wave of Covid-19. There are reports of children being affected. We need to create a buffer stock of oxygen as soon as possible.”
Chiding the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, Justice Chandrachud said, “If you (Centre) make an error in policy framing, then, you will be held responsible and accountable for it.”