Coronavirus patients dying due to shortage of oxygen "not less than genocide"

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Shortage of Oxygen (Image: Pixabay)
Shortage of Oxygen (Image: Pixabay)

Allahabad : In a stern remark, Allahabad High Court on Tuesday said that the death of coronavirus patients due to shortage of oxygen in the hospitals is a criminal act, "not less than a genocide" by authorities responsible to ensure oxygen supply in the hospitals.

The remarks came after some reports on social media claimed death of people outside hospitals in Lucknow and Meerut due to non-availability of oxygen. The court has issued probe in the matters.

Two judges-bench comprising justices Siddharth Verma and Justice Ajit Kumar passed the order on a Public Interest Litigation on the spread of COVID-19 in the state and the condition of quarantine centres.

"We are at a pain in observing that 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," the court observed.

"How can we let our people die in this way when science is so advanced that even heart transplantation and brain surgery are taking place these days," it added.

"Normally, we would have not directed the state and district administration to enquire into such news that has been viralled on social media, but since the advocates who were appearing in this PIL supported such news and even submitted that more or less situations in other districts of the state are the same, we find it necessary to direct for immediate remedial measures to be taken by the government." The court said. 

The Court also ordered DMs of both the states to inquire the matter within 48 hours and submit their reports on next date. They are also directed to appear before the court online on the next date of hearing.