In a strong comment regarding the grim coronavirus disease (Covid-19) situation in the country, the Allahabad high court on Tuesday said that the loss of lives of Covid-19 patients due to non-supply of oxygen amounts to nothing short of a "criminal act" -- a "genocide" -- on part of those entrusted to ensure such supplies.
"We are at pain in observing that the death of Covid patients just for non supplying of oxygen to the hospitals is a criminal act and not less than a genocide by those who have been entrusted the task to ensure continuous procurement and supply chain of the liquid medical oxygen," read an order passed by the Allahabad high court bench of Justice Ajit Kumar and Justice Siddhartha Varma.
The Allahabad high court took stock of reports of shortage of medical oxygen due to rise in Covid-19 infections. It highlighted stories viral on social media of hapless citizens begging for an oxygen cylinder to save the life of their near and dear ones, both at the end of the district administration and the police administration. The bench also observed the rampant hoarding of oxygen cylinders and harassment of citizens who are desperately in need of them.
"The news was also viralled that five patients had died in ICU of a new trauma centre of Medical College, Meerut on Sunday last. Similarly, news were also being viralled that one Sun Hospital, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow and another private hospital at Meerut had taken their hands off the admitted Covid patients only for the reason that oxygen supply was not made even after demand. We find these news items showing a quite contrary picture to one claimed by the Government that there was sufficient supply of oxygen," it pointed out.
The current state of affairs about the management of an online portal created by the government today casts a shadow upon Covid-19 hospital management, the high court said.