Deaths due to O2 shortage is genocide: Allahabad HC

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Allahabad High Court.
Allahabad High Court.

Taking note of stories viral on social media of hapless citizens begging for an oxygen cylinder to save the life of their near and dear ones, the Allahabad High Court has termed it as a ‘criminal act, no less than genocide’.

Observing the Covid situation in India, the high court on Tuesday said that the deaths of patients due to non-supply of oxygen amounts to a ‘criminal act’, nothing short of 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.

The bench also observed the rampant hoarding of oxygen cylinders and harassment of citizens who are desperately in need of them.

The court pointed out that, “The news went viral that five patients had died in ICU of a new trauma centre of Medical College, Meerut on Sunday last. Similarly, news was also being viralled that one Sun Hospital in Gomti Nagar, Lucknow and another private hospital at Meerut had taken their hands off the admitted Covid patients only because 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.”

The high court further stated that 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 by the state government.

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