Published: Sun, April 25, 2021

Will hang anyone obstructing supply of oxygen, says Delhi High Court

Will hang anyone obstructing supply of oxygen, says Delhi High Court

"If oxygen runs out, there is no leeway for many patients", Dr Sumit Ray told the BBC.

India has set a new global record for daily coronavirus infections - for the fourth day in a row.

"Urgent sos help. We have less than 2 hours of oxygen supply @Moolchand_Hos". "Patients' lives are at risk".

The controversial new rules - passed this week amid huge protests in Berlin - will apply in all regions with incidence rates of more than 100 new infections per 100,000 people over the last seven days.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the USA was working closely with the Indian government to send more support and supplies.

Hospitals across the city - government and private - have been facing an acute shortage of liquid oxygen as demand is high and supply has been hampered, sometimes because of a tussle between state governments and sometimes because of lack of cryogenic tankers.

Hospitals in Delhi have warned they are at breaking point.

The system will "collapse" if the capital doesn't get 480 metric tonnes of oxygen, the Delhi government told the court.

A man reacts next to the body of his father who died from COVID-19 at a crematorium in New Delhi India
A man reacts next to the body of his father who died from COVID-19 at a crematorium in New Delhi India

"We need to ensure that there are no non-essential activities taking place". We will face a shortage of oxygen at night.

The increasing desperation in India comes after the Australian Government announced a reduction in the number of flights to Australia from India.

"It's a tsunami. How are we trying to build capacity?" the Delhi high court asked the state and federal governments in response to this plea. The hospital has appealed to authority in the national capital to arrange oxygen at the earliest.

"All of the country's oxygen plants should immediately be taken over by the government through the army", he said.

New cases fell to 11,000 by mid-February, vaccines were being exported, and in March the health minister said India was "in the endgame" of the pandemic. There is a shortage of life-saving medicines and hospital beds too.

One "oxygen express" carrying 30,000 liters of oxygen arrived in northern Lucknow at dawn on Saturday, where armed guards were waiting to escort trucks to hospitals.

"We direct all the suppliers to provide complete details of the oxygen that they supply in the NCT of Delhi of the hospitals to which they are supplied; the time at which they are supplied; and the quantities which they supply", the court ordered.

One man identified as Amit who was grieving for his brother at Delhi's Jaipur Golden hospital said he had seen families running around with oxygen cylinders trying to get them refilled.


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