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Supreme Court constitutes 12-member task force for ‘scientific allocation’ of medical oxygen

supreme court oxygen allocation move


Supreme Court constitutes 12-member task force for ‘scientific allocation’ of medical oxygen

The Supreme Court on Saturday set up a National Task Force that would devise a methodology for the ‘scientific allocation of medical oxygen’ in the country. The twelve-member team has been formed to assess and recommend the need and distribution of oxygen throughout India.

“The rationale for constituting a Task Force at a national level is to facilitate public health response to the pandemic based on scientific and specialised domain knowledge. We expect leading experts in the country shall associate with the Task Force, as members and resource persons,” a division bench comprising of Justice DY Chandrachud and MR Shah said while issuing the order.

The top court’s order came amidst the deadly second wave of coronavirus that has led to an unpredented shortage of medical oxygen. Severas hospitals in Delhi last month moved the Supreme Court and the Delhi high court citing lack of oxygen which led to deaths of patients.

The Court said this task force would be at liberty to draw upon the human resources of the Union government for consultation and information. It would also be free to formulate its modalities and procedure for working. The will also provide a public health response on the basis of a scientific approach on issues of essential drugs, manpower and medical care to rural areas.

Also Read: US corporate sector continues its support for India’s Covid fight

The task force consists of 10 doctors and the convener of the task force will be the cabinet secretary to the Centre. Members include Dr Bhabatosh Biswas, former Vice Chancellor of the West Bengal University of Health Sciences, and Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairperson and Managing Director of Gurgaon’s Medanta Hospital and Heart Institute. The secretary to the health ministry is also part of the 12-member committee formed by the Supreme Court. The apex court also allowed the audit of medical oxygen to examine supply and efficacy of distribution of oxygen by the government of national capital territory of Delhi (GNCTD).

Here is the complete list of members who are part of the task force

  • Dr. Bhabatosh Biswas, former vice-chancellor, West Bengal University of Health Sciences, Kolkata.
  • Dr Devender Singh Rana, chairperson, board of management, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi.
  • Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, chairperson and executive director, Narayana Healthcare, Bengaluru.
  • Dr Gagandeep Kang, professor, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
  • Dr JV Peter, director, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
  • Dr Naresh Trehan, chairperson and managing director, Medanta Hospital and Heart Institute, Gurugram.
  • Dr Rahul Pandit, director, critical care medicine and ICU, Fortis Hospital, Mulund (Mumbai, Maharashtra) and Kalyan (Maharashtra).
  • Dr Saumitra Rawat, chairman and head, department of surgical gastroenterology and liver transplant, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi.
  • Dr Shiv Kumar Sarin, senior professor and head of department of Hepatology, Director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Science (ILBS), Delhi
  • Dr Zarir F Udwadia, consultant chest physician, Hinduja Hospital, Breach Candy Hospital and Parsee General Hospital, Mumbai
    Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India (ex officio member).
  • The Convenor of the National Task Force, who shall also be a member, will be the Cabinet Secretary to the Union Government to the task force.

Since the onset of the catastrophic second wave of coronavirus, country has witnessed several deaths due to oxygen crissi. In the latest health bulletin, the country reported over four lakh new cases and more than four thousand casualities in the last 24 hours.



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