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Shortage of Oxygen and essential drugs

Joveria Sabbah vs. The State of West Bengal & Ors. W.P.A. (P) No. 134 of 2021 | High Court at Calcutta | Status: Pending | |

The present writ petition is being filed by the Petitioner to ensure
adequate supply of medical oxygen and COVID treatment drugs in the
State and adherence to safety protocol during West Bengal Assembly
elections, to safeguard the right to health under the right to life under
Article 21 of the Constitution of India, 1950.
A massive surge in COVID cases in the second wave has been
compounded by the complete disregard for safety norms in election
campaigning and conduct of polls in the State. Exacerbating the crisis,
there has arisen an acute shortage in the supply of medical oxygen and
life-essential drugs such as Remdesivir, Tocilizumab etc. in the
hospitals, medical facilities and pharmacies across the State. Several
thousand lives are at stake as the hospitals grapple with the severe
shortage in the face of inaction on the part of the Respondents.
In spite of the Central Government directives, the supply chain management of medical oxygen and COVID treatment drugs remains
riddled with inadequacies, jeopardizing lives needlessly.
Following the steepest single-day rise in COVID cases in the
State, new beds have been installed at hospitals as per State
Government orders. However, not all such beds have been fitted with
oxygen equipment and other medical amenities making them unfit for
COVID treatment.
The Respondents have been alarmingly neglectful of their duties in
not initiating rapid efforts to augment the supply of oxygen, medicines
and other necessary amenities and have shirked their responsibilities
under the National Disaster Management Act, 2005 and policies and
rules framed thereunder.