“If Anyone Obstructs Supply, Won’t Spare Them”: Court On Oxygen Crisis

Coronavirus: The worrying shortage of medical oxygen has been flagged by several hospitals.

New Delhi:

If anyone obstructs oxygen supply, we will not spare them, the Delhi High Court said today as it heard a hospital’s petition over shortage of oxygen for seriously-ill Covid patients.

The Delhi government told the court that the system will “collapse” if the capital doesn’t get 480 metric tonnes of oxygen. The worrying shortage of medical oxygen has been flagged by several hospitals which are overwhelmed by the thousands of new daily cases of COVID-19. The issue, which has come contentious in the past few days, has been raised before the High Court by several hospitals.

 “If we don’t get 480 metric tonnes (of oxygen), the system will collapse. We have seen in the last 24 hours. Something disastrous will happen,” the Arvind Kejriwal government told the court, adding that it received only 297 metric tonnes of the medical gas yesterday. The state government also sought a detailed affidavit from the centre with clear details of oxygen allocation and supply schedule.

“When will Delhi get 480 metric tonnes? Please tell us that,” the court asked the centre.

The court asked the Delhi government to give one instance of who was obstructing the oxygen supply, also asking the state government to inform the centre too about such officials of the local administration so that it could take action against them. 

In today’s hearing, the centre had earlier put the blame back on the AAP government. “States are arranging from tankers to everything. We are just assisting them. But in Delhi, everything is put on us. Delhi officials have to do their job,” the centre said.

Another hospital, which approached the High Court, said it needs 8,000 litres of oxygen, adding that it manage even with 6,000 litres. The hospital said it was given only 500 litres this morning. “We can’t manage,” the hospital told the court.

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