COVID-19: HC says not in agreement with Centre on availability of enough oxygen

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New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Monday said it was not in agreement with the Centre that there is enough oxygen available to treat seriously ill COVID-19 patients in the national capital.

'Today there is shortage (of oxygen). The Solicitor Genersl says there is no shortage but we will not accept it because we have ourselves seen there is shortage of oxygen,' said a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli.

Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, said his submission was that there is enough oxygen if distributed properly and the issue was of transportation and not the supply.

“I have not said Delhi has enough oxygen. I am saying right now we have enough oxygen if distributed properly,” he said.

During the hearing, petitioner advocate Rakesh Malhotra made the submission that there was shortage of RT-PCR kits.

Taking note of the submission, the bench said it has already directed the Centre to take steps to prioritise clearance of imported kits held up with the custom department.

The Centre’s counsel apprised the court that necessary directions have already been issued by the government to the custom officers.

The court also directed the Centre to take steps to prioritise the clearance of customs for the import of RT-PCR testing kits from abroad.

It asked the Centre to file a report in sealed cover within three days on the number of imports pending and cleared and the reason for being held up. PTI SKV HMP SKV RKS RKS