Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Rajasthan HC Issues Notice To Centre, State Govt Over Discrimination In Allotment Of Oxygen, Remdesivir

Rajasthan requires around 10,000 Remdesivir injections and 365 MT oxygen per day with the surge in Covid patients: Rajasthan health minister

Rajasthan HC Issues Notice To Centre, State Govt Over Discrimination In Allotment Of Oxygen, Remdesivir
Rajasthan requires 365 MT oxygen per day amid surge in Covid patients: Rajasthan health minister Representational Image/ PTI

Rajasthan High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to central and the state governments over discrimination in the allotment of oxygen and Remdesivir injections for the Covid 19 patients in the state.

The high court on Wednesday took up a petition on alleged discrimination of the Centre against the state over the distribution of oxygen and Remdesivir injections, which has caused a major hurdle in treating the coronavirus patients. The next date of hearing is on April 30.

On Wednesday Rajasthan health minister said in a statement that in coming days, the state would require around 10,000 Remdesivir injections per day with the surge in Covid patients. “We had booked around 1.75 lakh Remdesivir injections from RMCL but so far we haven't received any,” Sharma said. The minister said that Rajasthan needs at least 300 metric tones of oxygen every day at present and after a few days, the state would need 365 MT per day."

On April 23, 2021, advocate PC Bhandari in the petition requested the court’s intervention claiming that while the Centre has allocated 1,63,500 Remedesivir injections to Gujarat with 84,126 patients, only 26,500 injections have been allocated to Rajasthan while the number of active patients are more than 96,000. Similarly, there was disparity in the allocation of liquid oxygen.

The petition mentioned that the present requirement of oxygen is 250 metric tonnes per day in Rajasthan, however, the central government is merely allocating 205 metric tonnes per day. Similarly, the requirement of liquid oxygen is 220 metric tonnes per day, however, the allocation is a meager 80 metric tonnes per day.

The petition also mentioned the acute shortage of Remdesivir injections and other life-saving drugs used to treat Covid-19 patients. According to the annexure attached with the petition, around 26,000 Remdisivir injections have been allocated to Rajasthan against 96,000 active cases between April 21 and April 30, 2021. The table also shows that only 27 per cent of the injections have been allocated.

The petition also highlighted the shortage of beds in all the districts of the state and urged the state government to take urgent steps. The petition also demanded that private hospitals need to be declared as Covid hospitals immediately. Moreover, since the daily-wage earners have been badly affected by the partial lockdown in the state, adequate steps need to be taken to cater to their needs of livelihood. If need be, the meals from Indira Rasoi Scheme can be given free of cost, the petition said.

As Covid-19 cases continued to surge in Rajasthan, people struggled to get hospital beds, ventilators, oxygen cylinders, injections and medicines with the health infrastructure in the state almost stretched to its limit.

A week ago, the Rajasthan State Human Rights Commission (RSHRC) had also sought a report from the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan on the death of two Covid-19 patients allegedly due to the depleting supply of medical oxygen at New Medical College Hospital (NMCH), Kota. In its order on Wednesday, on basis of the cognizance taken on the local media reports, the RSHRC has sought a factual report from the state government and asked to submit it by May 5.

On Wednesday, Rajasthan reported 16,613 new Covid-19 cases and 120 deaths, taking the active cases to 16,33,72, as per the state health department bulletin. Capital Jaipur reported 2,878 cases, followed by Jodhpur with 2,220, Udaipur and Alwar which have also crossed 1,000 Covid cases per day. Rajasthan has already imposed a lockdown till May 3, 2021, owing to the surge in Covid-19 cases.