SC Forms Task Force To Assess Oxygen Distribution Amid COVID Surge

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A 12-member National Task Force has been set up by the Supreme Court to assess availability and distribution of medical oxygen across India.

The task force will assess on a scientific, rational and equitable basis and suggest measures to ensure equitable availability of medicines needed to treat COVID-19.

The Supreme Court in its order said that the National Task Force will be led by Dr Bhabatosh Biswas, former vice chancellor of the West Bengal University of Health Sciences.

India is witnessing a devastating second wave of coronavirus as over four lakh new cases were reported in the past 24 hours.

In the last few weeks, patients in several states, especially Delhi, have faced a shortfall of medical oxygen – that has even resulted in several deaths.

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The team also includes senior medical professionals from West Bengal University of Health Sciences, Kolkata, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi, Narayana Healthcare, Bengaluru, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, Medanta Hospital and Heart Institute, Gurugram, Fortis Hospital, Mumbai and Kalyan.

The judges spoke personally to each member of the task force. The members are expected to submit reports every week to the Centre and the court. The task force’s recommendations, however, will be sent directly to the Supreme Court.

The top court had, on Friday, ordered for a task force to be set up to do a revamp of the Centre's plan for allocation of oxygen to different states, so that other factors such as ambulances, COVID care facilities and patient care in home quarantine are also considered.

The court had also demanded to know if the Centre was preparing for a possible third wave of COVID-19.

(With inputs from agencies)

Also Read: ‘Mumbai Oxygen Model’ That SC Asked Delhi, Centre to Learn From

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