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"Acute Shortage Of Oxygen Attributable To Total Inaction Of State": Amicus Moves Madhya Pradesh High Court

Sparsh Upadhyay
26 April 2021 7:10 AM GMT
Acute Shortage Of Oxygen Attributable To Total Inaction Of State: Amicus Moves Madhya Pradesh High Court
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Seeking compliance and praying for further urgent directions/orders necessary in the evolving situation related to COVID Management in the State of Madhya Pradesh, the Amicus Curiae Senior Advocate Naman Nagrath has moved an application before the Madhya Pradesh High Court. This High Court had, vide its order dated 19th April 2021 passed specific directions to the State Government in...

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Seeking compliance and praying for further urgent directions/orders necessary in the evolving situation related to COVID Management in the State of Madhya Pradesh, the Amicus Curiae Senior Advocate Naman Nagrath has moved an application before the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

This High Court had, vide its order dated 19th April 2021 passed specific directions to the State Government in view of ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

The Court had fixed the matter for 10th of May for reporting compliance and further orders, however, the Amicus Curiae in the matter has stated in his application that the developments in the intervening period are so serious that he had to move the court with his IA.

Issues highlighted in the application

  • State Government shall ensure continuous and a regular supply of Oxygen and Remdesivir
  • State Government shall if it has not already notified the rates, fix the rates for being charged by the private Hospitals/Nursing Homes and private Pathological Labs/ Diagnostic Centres.
  • State Government shall ensure displaying of data with regard to the availability of normal beds, ICU beds, and Ventilators on its Sarthak portal in all the Government Hospitals and Private Hospitals/ Nursing Homes on a real-time basis.
  • State Government should require all the private Hospitals/Nursing Homes, Chemists/Medical Shops to display the rates of Remdesivir per vial, separately for generic and branded injections.
  • The State should consider increasing per day testing number of Covid infected persons for their early detection so as to prevent further spread of Coronavirus

Averments in the application

It has been averred that though the figures of availability of Oxygen as provided by the State may portray a picture that there is sufficient availability of oxygen, but the actual availability and he ground reality shows a totally different picture.

Apparently, the Application states that the State of MP has no Liquid Oxygen production plant and that it was dependent on other States and sources for supply of oxygen

"The acute shortage of oxygen is attributable to total inaction and indifference of State, which has failed to perceive this aspect of any importance and necessity. It is saddening that entire period of several months after slowing down of first wave have been lost and no efforts even worth mentioning have been taken by the State in this regard," the application submits.

Significantly, the application claims that,

"It is only apathy and indifference on part of the State Government that it has been unable to utilise even the grant made available to it by Central Government for setting up 8 Oxygen plants, as a result of which thousands of critical patients are suffering and struggling for life, and eventually many of them are dying because of lack of Oxygen supply.

Therefore, the application seeks direction to the State Government to set up a Liquid Oxygen manufacturing plant at war footing without any further delay.

Next, the application has submitted that the availability of Remdesivir was a cause of concern across the State and that the patients requiring hospitalization were being made to shuttle from one hospital to the other in view of persisting ambiguity regarding availability of beds.

In this backdrop, the application submits that the State Government is under a bounden obligation to provide for the needs of its citizens and the people of the State cannot be left to fend for themselves.

Stressing that COVID-19 has started affecting rural the population also, the application states that it had become absolutely necessary that the State Government gives immediate attention to this issue so that the rural population does not suffer adverse consequences which may be worse than those being witnessed by the urban population of the State.

Significantly, the application has submitted that,

"State seems to have been totally oblivious and has been caught unaware and unprepared of the impending second wave which is devastating. The state has simply failed to live up to the proverb, 'dig the well before you are thirsty and lost valuable days and weeks in months of February and March 2021, as a result, it is even lesser prepared than the first spell of Covid-19 last year."

Prayers of the plea

  • List the matter at short intervals in view of exceptional ongoing circumstances, in order to monitor the compliance of directions issued to the respondents.
  • State submits a report of action taken to date in respect of directions issued pursuant to order dated 19.04.2021, especially with regard to the supply of oxygen, Remedesevir drug and alleged overcharging by some private hospitals, so that the situation could be better monitored by this Hon'ble Court at short intervals,
  • Direct the State Government as well as Central Govt. to submit status report of installation & functioning of 8 PSA (Pressure Swing Absorption) Oxygen plants
  • Direct the State to submit its action plan to set up and install a "Liquid Oxygen Manufacturing Plant" in the State of MP.
  • Direct the State to install PSA (Pressure Swing Absorption) Oxygen plant in each and every Govt District Hospital of the State, which costs about Rs. 1 Crore each, so that they are self-sufficient for the requirement of oxygen.
  • To submit an action plan for the coming 2-3 weeks when the present second wave of Covid-19 is expected to hit its peak, in view of such reports by experts.
  • To submit its action plan for rural areas with respect to Covid19, which is now affecting rural population also, and which admittedly has minimal medical facilities and infrastructure.
  • To direct the State government to submit its preparedness and forward planning in respect of possible third wave of Covid-19, which mat hit the country and also the State of MP in coming months as indicated by scientific and research studies.


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