LAST UPDATED: May 20, 2021, 7:05 p.m.
New Delhi: Warning that the drop in Covid-19 cases in Delhi should not be taken as a signal to relax vigilance, the Delhi High Court on Thursday said the authorities concerned should take steps to create a buffer stock of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) in the city.
A bench comprising of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh emphasised that it is the duty of the Centre and the Delhi government to ensure that all the preparations are made against the backdrop of scientists predicting the virus may raise its ugly head again, hitting the people badly.
Insisting that it means business and stressing that authorities should take its warning seriously, the bench said: “If you have not taken steps, we will come and chase you again. We are telling you; we mean business.”
The Delhi government counsel informed the High Court that it has a buffer stock of 419 metric tonnes (MT) of LMO at different locations in the capital, and also arrangements are in progress to further augment the stock in next 10 days.
The bench added that both Centre and Delhi government share the responsibility to set up the buffer stock of medical oxygen. It further observed that as per top court’s April 30 order, primarily the responsibility is on the Centre and also on Delhi government.
The bench also noted that the Central government is yet to disclose in the status report as to what steps it has taken to fulfil in accordance with the Supreme Court order. The Centre’s counsel submitted before the court that it is not taking the situation casually and steps are being taken to create the buffer stock of LMO.
Reiterating that complacency cannot come due to drop in number of cases, the bench said: “This is a temporary phase. We know it is going to come back and hit us badly.”
On May 4, the High Court, besides the top court, had also directed the Centre and Delhi government to create buffer stock of 100 MT of LMO. The High Court asked the Centre to file a report in connection with the steps taken to create buffer stock by May 24.