India Covid: Delhi high court criticises 'ridiculous' oxygen shortage

India Covid: Delhi high court criticises 'ridiculous' oxygen shortage

4/22/2021 6:26:00 AM

India Covid: Delhi high court criticises 'ridiculous' oxygen shortage

The court says it is the responsibility of the government to beg borrow or steal to ensure oxygen.

Scenes outside a hospital in Delhi, where people are dying without getting the treatment they needThe highest court in India's capital Delhi, has publicly criticised the central government for its handling of the oxygen crisis in the city.The country reported more than 300,000 coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours, the highest daily total of new cases since the start of the pandemic.

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Deaths rose by 2,104 in the same time period, the worst daily toll.Hundreds of those were from Delhi, where hospitals faced oxygen shortages.The court was hearing a petition by the owner of six private hospitals.It ordered the government to ensure safe passage of oxygen supplies from factories to hospitals across India.

"This is ridiculous. We want to know what the centre is doing with regard to oxygen supply across India," the judges said while reading out the verdict, adding that it was the responsibility of the government to "beg, borrow...steal" to ensure oxygen supplies.

A number of people across the country have died while waiting for oxygen though it is not possible to know how many. Indian social media has also been filled with appeals for oxygen.Crowds are gathering outside hospitals in major cities which are filled to capacity. Health services are struggling to cope.

image copyrightimage captionMaharashtra accounts for a quarter of India's more than 15 million Covid casesAuthorities in the western state of Maharashtra - which is the worst affected state- announced a series of additional restrictions starting from Thursday evening, as it battles a steep surge in cases.

It was already under partial lockdown from 14 April.Maharashtra is India's richest state and home to its financial hub, Mumbai. It's also been a Covid hotspot since the start of the pandemic.It now accounts for a quarter of India's more than 15 million Covid cases.

Maharashtra has also reported more deaths from the virus than any other state - 67, 468. India has confirmed more than 180,000 deaths so far. Although deaths have been rising, the fatality rate remains relatively low. Read more: BBC Health News »

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