Desperate for oxygen, Indian hospitals go to court

Desperate for oxygen, Indian hospitals go to court


A court in India’s capital New Delhi has become the last hope for many hospitals struggling to get oxygen for COVID-19 patients as supplies run dangerously short while government officials bicker over who is responsible.

A two-judge bench of the Delhi High Court has been holding almost daily video conferences to hear petitions from hospitals invoking India’s constitutional right to protection of life. Local and federal officials are attending.

The court’s intervention has saved lives, lawyers say.

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On Sunday, with just 30 minutes of oxygen left for 42 virus patients at Sitaram Bhartia hospital and new supplies nowhere in sight, hospital authorities approached the Delhi court as a “last resort” for help, lawyer Shyel Trehan said.

The judges ordered the Delhi state government to immediately arrange supplies.

“Oxygen cylinders arrived soon after the hearing and a tank arrived a few hours later,” Trehan said.

Nanhe Pal, 52, who is suffering from breathing problem, receives oxygen support for free at a Gurudwara

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