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Home / India / SC sets up task force to ‘scientifically’ allocate oxygen to states

Cabinet secretary to head 12-member team

SC sets up task force to ‘scientifically’ allocate oxygen to states

Cabinet secretary to be convenor, health secretary is ex-officio member of 12-member team
The top court said in its order passed on May 6 uploaded on Saturday that the Secretary of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will be ex-officio member of the task force.
The top court said in its order passed on May 6 uploaded on Saturday that the Secretary of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will be ex-officio member of the task force.
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Our Bureau, Agencies   |   New Delhi   |   Published 08.05.21, 08:16 PM

The Supreme Court has constituted a 12-member National Task Force to facilitate a public health response to the pandemic based on scientific and specialised domain knowledge.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and M R Shah said that the rationale for constituting a task force at the national level is also to formulate a methodology for the scientific allocation of oxygen to states and union territories.

"The rationale for constituting a Task Force at a national level is to facilitate public health response to the pandemic based on scientific and specialised domain knowledge. We expect leading experts in the country shall associate with the Task Force, as members and resource persons," the court said, according to ndtv.com.

"This will facilitate a meeting of minds and the formulation of scientific strategies to deal with an unprecedented human crisis," it added.

The bench said the Union Cabinet Secretary will be the convenor of the task force and may nominate an officer not below the rank of Additional Secretary to depute for him, when necessary.

The top court said in its order passed on May 6 uploaded on Saturday that the Secretary of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will be ex-officio member of the task force.

The bench said that other members of the task force will be Dr Bhabatosh Biswas, Former Vice Chancellor, West Bengal University of Health Sciences, Kolkata; Dr Devender Singh Rana, Chairperson, Board of Management, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi; Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairperson and Executive Director, Narayana Healthcare, Bengaluru; Dr Gagandeep Kang, Professor, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu; and Dr JV Peter, Director, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu.

Five other members of the task force include Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairperson and Managing Director, Medanta Hospital and Heart Institute, Gurugram; Dr Rahul Pandit, Director, Critical Care Medicine and ICU, Fortis Hospital, Mulund (Mumbai, Maharashtra) and Kalyan (Maharashtra); and Dr Saumitra Rawat, Chairman & Head, Department of Surgical Gastroenterology and Liver Transplant, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi.

The bench said that Dr Shiv Kumar Sarin, Senior Professor and Head of Department of Hepatology, Director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Science (ILBS), Delhi and Dr Zarir F Udwadia, Consultant Chest Physician, Hinduja Hospital, Breach Candy Hospital and Parsee General Hospital, Mumbai, will be members of the task force.

On Thursday, the top court had directed the Centre to prepare a buffer stock of oxygen for emergency purposes in collaboration with states and decentralise the location of the stocks so that it is immediately available if the normal supply chain is disrupted.

The bench took up issues such as the projected demand for oxygen in the country at present and in the near future, how the government intends to allocate it to "critically affected" states and its monitoring mechanism to ensure supply.



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