The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the centre to be prepared for ‘stage 3 of the pandemic’ and revamp the existing formula of oxygen allocation. Hearing the matter regarding the supply of Oxygen by the Centre to various hospitals in Delhi, the SC bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah asked the Centre to conduct an oxygen audit and reassess the basis for allocation as the third stage of the pandemic might be different from the first two. The court suggested that the centre adopt a pan-India approach so that they can prepare for the third wave of coronavirus.
“You need to look at the issue of oxygen supply on a pan-India basis. There is a need to look at oxygen audit and also reassess the basis for oxygen reallocation, Justice DY Chandrachud told the Centre.
“When you prepared the formula, not everyone wanted to go into an ICU. Many required oxygen at home. The Centre’s formula does not take into account transportation, ambulance, and Covid-care facilities,” he added.
Asking the centre to devise a plan for third wave of the pandemic, the court said, “But, if we prepare today, we will be able to handle stage 3…. A buffer stock needs to be created,” Justice DY Chandrachud told the Centre.
Meanwhile, the Centre told the Supreme Court that it has complied with its order and instead of 700 MT oxygen, it ensured a supply of 730 MT to Delhi for treating COVID-19 patients.
“All the major hospitals that use LMO are included in the survey. Significant stocks available with hospital is there. Large quantities, which reached Delhi yesterday, have not been distributed,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the court.
However, Delhi government’s counsel advocate Rahul Mehra disputed the claim and submitted that the Delhi government had received 555 MT oxygen, not 730 MT as claimed by the Centre
The apex court, while staying contempt proceedings initiated by Delhi High Court against central government officials for non-compliance of direction to supply 700 MT of oxygen to Delhi, had sought an answer from the Centre on Thursday morning.