COVID-19: Supreme Court push for universal vaccination policy, oxygen buffer stock


Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to start preparing for the third wave of COVID-19, advising it to create a buffer stock of medical oxygen to prevent panic and prepare a comprehensive vaccination policy for all.

During its hearing on the supply of oxygen to Delhi, a bench of justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah said: “You (Centre) need to look at the issue of oxygen supply on a pan- India basis. There is a need to look at oxygen audit and also reassess the basis for oxygen reallocation.” It pointed out that the third surge, according to experts, will affect children.

When a child goes to hospital, the mother and father will also have to go. “That is why vaccination will have to be over for this group of people. We need to plan for this in a scientific way,” it said.

“If you (Centre) make an error in policy framing, then you will be held accountable for it,” it said.

The bench accepted the suggestion to form a committee of experts for oxygen audit. “Today we have 1.5 lakh doctors who have finished medical course but waiting for NEET exam. How do you tap them? There is fatigue amongst the healthcare professionals. We have to create spaces for the existing body of health professionals. They are at the end of their tether,” the court said.

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