Covid-19: Supreme Court asks Centre for national plan on oxygen supply, vaccines and essential drugs
The Supreme Court has told the Centre that it wants to see a “national plan” on oxygen supply, vaccines and essential medicines due to the grim Covid-19 situation in India. The Supreme Court’s demand comes at a time when several High Courts are hearing petitions on the shortage of oxygen cylinders, vaccines, essential drugs and beds.
The Chief Justice SA Bobde-led SC Bench has told the Centre that Supreme Court wants to see the national plan on the issue. “We want information regarding the issues of supply of oxygen, supply of essential drugs, method and manner of vaccination. We also want to keep the power to declare lockdown to the state and this is not a judicial decision,” CJI Bobde said.
The Bench said that it wishes to take suo motu cognisance of issues they find in six High Courts – Delhi, Bombay, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Calcutta and Allahabad. These courts are exercising their jurisdiction and are dealing with the issues regarding the Covid-19 situation. The Bench also observed that some confusion is created and resources are diverted.
Earlier, the Delhi High Court slammed the Centre for being oblivious to the ground reality and its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. The High Court expressed “shock and dismay” and ordered the Centre to ensure oxygen supply for hospitals. “The citizen can only fall back on the state. It is the responsibility of the government. Beg, borrow, or steal, it is your job,” the High Court said during a hearing. “How is the government so oblivious to the ground reality? You cannot have people die because of no oxygen. You take your own sweet time and people die,” the HC added.
India broke another grim milestone on Thursday when it reported the world's highest daily tally of 3,14,835 new Covid-19 cases and a record 2,104 deaths in 24 hours.