HC appeals to citizens not to hoard oxygen cylinders

Court takes strong note of violent incident at Apollo Hospital

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday appealed to citizens not to hoard oxygen cylinders and medicines required for COVID-19 patients so as to avoid creating artificial scarcity and make them available to people in need.

“The nation is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is at times like these that the people need to showcase our qualities and virtues,” a Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rekha Palli said.

“We appeal to the good sense of people to not resort to black marketing or hoarding of oxygen cylinders or medicines and to make them available to the needy. Hoarding of oxygen cylinders and medicines lead to an artificial scarcity,” the Bench said.

“We came across news reports of the incident that took place in Apollo Hospital yesterday [Tuesday] where the hospital staffers and doctors were assaulted by the relatives of a patient. Such kind of incidents are bound to demoralise the medical community, which is serving tirelessly to save the lives of the people without any rest whatsoever,” the court remarked. “We hope that such incident are not repeated. The authorities and police should also me mindful of such kind of conduct and be vigilant,” it added.

The court also noted the submission of senior advocate Rahul Mehra, representing the Delhi government, that there has been frantic SOS calls from hospitals and nursing homes for supply of oxygen but many a times it was found that the urgency expressed was not genuine.

“We hope and expect that hospitals and nursing homes not raise such alarms as it may lead to strain on the system,” the court remarked.

The court also directed the Delhi government to give an account of the COVID-19 test that are being done in all accredited lab in the Capital. The Bench also directed government to consider using the mohalla clinics for urgent medical consultation of patients who have tested COVID positive.

The court also recorded a suggestion of using old DTC buses for transporting bodies instead of ambulances. It will hear the case again on Friday.

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