New Delhi [India], April 20 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Tuesday said any delay in the supply of oxygen will lead to loss of precious lives and directed the Central government to provide the supply of oxygen.
While hearing a petition concerning the COVID-19 situation in the national capital, the High Court also raised the question on the Centre's decision to ban oxygen supply to industries from April 22 and suggested that it should be implemented from this day onwards instead of waiting for two days.
A Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said, "There is a need for oxygen now and any delay will lead to loss of precious lives."
The High Court questioned the Centre when Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma told the Court that in order to ensure the continuous supply of oxygen for medical purposes the use of oxygen for industrial purposes has been banned except for certain critical industries with effect from April 22.
The Court also noted that the oxygen supply to various hospitals in Delhi is about to get exhausted in 4-8 hours.
"Decision taken by the Centre to divert oxygen is to be implemented only from 22nd. We do not find any justification for the same," the High Court said and directed the centre to implement the decision forthwith.
"Every life is very important and valuable," the Court said.
Nipun Vinayak, Joint Secretary of the Union Health Ministry who was present in the hearing told the Court that about the availability of oxygen.
Vinayak said that around 80 per cent of positive cases are having mild cases which do not require oxygen, 17 per cent are moderate, 3 per cent are to be managed in the ICU which requires oxygen. He also told the Court that 378 metric ton of liquid medical oxygen has been allotted to Delhi.
The Centre informed the Delhi High Court that keeping in view of the overall limited stock of the medical oxygen, a supply allocation plan for states with a high number of COVID cases, including Delhi, has been prepared by DPIIT in consultation with the help of state governments, Ministry of Steel, Ministry of Transport, All India industrial Gas manufacturer Association (AlIGMA) and other stakeholders.
The Court pointed that if more and more people are going to suffer from COVID, there would be extended lockdown and closure.
"We expect Centre to meet with all stakeholders so that a good portion of oxygen can be diverted for medical that is need for the period required to tide over the prevailing condition," the Court said directing the Centre to review on oxygen allocation in a dynamic manner so that its utilisation can be achieved in a best possible manner.
The Court was hearing a petition filed by advocate Rakesh Malhotra on various issues arising out of rising in COVID cases in the national capital. The matter was disposed of on January 14 but after the COVID raised its ugly head once again with vengeance, the court revived this petition on Monday.
The Court has adjourned the matter for April 22 for further hearing. (ANI)