New Delhi, April 20: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday slammed the Centre over the shortage of oxygen amid rising COVID-19 cases in the country.  The court said that the blood would be on the hands of the government if oxygen is not sent to the places where it is needed the most. The court questioned the Centre for the delay in restricting the supply of oxygen for industries, like petroleum and steel. It said that industries could wait, but COVID-19 patients could not. Reliance Industries Increases Supply of Oxygen to Over 700 Tonnes a Day to COVID-19-Hit States: Sources.

"Out of 130 crore, there are less than two crore official cases. Even if it's five times, that means only 10 crore cases. We should protect the remaining people. At this rate, we might lose one crore people. We should act fast," reported NDTV quoting the Delhi High Court as saying. The court added that human lives are more important than economic interests. The Centre told the High Court that only three percent patients needed ICU beds. It added that 24 litres of oxygen was needed for ICU patients and 10 litres for non ICU beds. DRDO Develops Supplemental Oxygen Delivery System for COVID Patients Use.

The bench said it has heard that doctors at Ganga Ram Hospital were being forced to reduce oxygen being given to COVID-19 patients and admitted that there was a scarcity of oxygen. "Which are these industries whose supplies of oxygen cannot be curtailed?" the court asked central government standing counsel Monika Arora and asked her to take instructions on what all can be done to augment the oxygen supply to COVID-19 patients.

The Delhi government on Monday had alleged that there was short of oxygen for COVID-19 patients as the supplies were being diverted to other states. The direction came during the hearing of the petition, which was earlier disposed off. On April 19, the petition was reviewed again. The judges noted that the virus had raised its "ugly head" once again, and the pandemic is raging with much greater intensity. Notably, Delhi on Monday reported over 32,000 COVID-19 cases.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 20, 2021 07:23 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website