The Supreme Court also ordered the Central Government to formulate a national policy on admissions to hospitals which shall be followed by all State Governments.
The Supreme Court on Sunday directed the Centre to sort out the severe Oxygen crisis in Delhi by 3rd May midnight and also asked them to create a buffer stock of oxygen along with the States so that the stock can be used if the regular supply chain is disrupted due to any reason.
In an order issued late on Sunday night, the 3 judge bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, L Nageswara Rao and Ravindra Bhat was hearing the suo motu case concerning the supply of essential medicines, drugs and vaccines in the wake of the second wave of COVID-19.
“We direct the Central Government in collaboration with the states to prepare a buffer stock of oxygen to be used for emergency purposes to ensure supply lines continue to function even in unforeseen circumstances. The location of the emergency stocks shall be decentralised so as to be immediately available if the normal supply chain is disrupted to any hospital for any reason. The emergency stocks shall be created within the next four days. The replenishment of the emergency stocks will also be monitored on a real-time basis through the virtual control room in active consultation with each state/UT,” notes the Supreme Court order, according to Bar and Bench
The Court also ordered the Central Government to formulate a national policy on admissions to hospitals which shall be followed by all State Governments. It further said that, till the time such a policy was formulated, “no patient shall be denied hospitalization or essential drugs in any state/UT for lack of local residential proof of that state/UT or even in absence of identity proof”
As the second wave of the pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the country, the judiciary took a pro-active approach to make sure that government attention is drawn towards the crisis, stringent orders are passed and difficult questions are asked to the government.
India reported 3,92,488 cases and 3689 fatalities in the last 24 hours, as per the Union Health Ministry.