On May 1, 2021, the Delhi High Court bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said that “Water is above the head now”, and directed the Centre to provide oxygen “by whatever means”. The Delhi High Court was hearing petitions on how the Delhi health infrastructure is crumbling with the onset of daily new COVID-19 cases.

“Water has gone above the head. You have to arrange everything now. You have made the allocations. You have to fulfil it. Eight lives have been lost. We can’t shut our eyes to it,” the bench of Justices Sanghi and Palli said in the court. The bench was making a reference to 8 people who died today in a Delhi hospital due to lack of oxygen.

“Enough is Enough”: Delhi HC slams the Centre

“Enough is enough..who is asking for a dime more than allocated?..Don’t do this, Don’t do that. We don’t appreciate this. This is a new way of arguing that we are seeing,” the bench added, coming down hard on the Centre.

The Delhi High Court have been hearing pleas that are focused on the current COVID-19 situation and dwindling supply of oxygen that has been the cause of death for several people in the past few weeks in the national capital.

In the hearing today, Delhi government’s representative Advocate Rahul Mehra said how Delhi demanded 700 MT of oxygen but was allocated 490 MT by the Centre. Out of the 490 MT, there were suppliers who made commitment of supply of 445 MT voluntarily.

However, on Saturday, May 1, Delhi received only 312 MT of oxygen. Senior Advocate Mehra said how the state faced 100 MT deficit in the affidavit he submitted.

There is no timing, schedule or any priority given to us – Delhi govt

Mr. Mehra during the hearing said, “Our tankers are not given priority. There is no timing, schedule given to us. We are dealing in SoS even today. My officers will have a mental breakdown. A morally conscious person does what best he can. This can’t be permitted.”

After careful and deliberate contemplation, the Delhi High Court bench directed the Centre to make sure that the state receives its agreed upon amount of oxygen supply “by whatever means”.

Will hold Centre in contempt if oxygen is not provided: Delhi HC

“We direct Centre to ensure that Delhi receives its 490MT oxygen supply today by whatever means,” the bench stated. The bench further stated that the responsibility to do so falls on the Central government, and if it fails to do so, the court may hold the Centre in contempt.

“It falls on the Central government to arrange tankers ..(else) it only remains a paper allocation. The allocation to Delhi has been in force from April 20 and not for a single day Delhi has received allocated supply. We may even consider issuing contempt proceedings,” the Delhi High Court ruled.

8 COVID-19 patients including a doctor dead at Batra Hospital, Delhi

Earlier today, a total of 8 COVID-19 patients, including a doctor, that were admitted in the Batra Hospital, Mehrauli, died due to oxygen shortage. The hospital authorities are alleging that the death occurred due to oxygen shortage.

Indian Express interviewed Batra Hospital’s Medical Director, Dr. S.C.L. Gupta and asked him whether the deaths occurred due to low oxygen. To this Dr. Gupta said, “Of course… If the hospital will run without oxygen for half an hour… Eight COVID-19 patients have been declared dead so far… There are five others who are in the process of resuscitation. They are critical.”

Currently as many as 327 patients are admitted to the hospital. Off these 327, there are 48 patients that are seeking treatment in the critical care unit. According to reports, on Saturday, the hospital raised alarm due to diminishing oxygen supply. The hospital raised its first red flag at afternoon claiming it had run out of all the liquid medical oxygen supply. To meet the requirement, and oxygen tanker was sent which reached the hospital at around 1.30.


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