NAGPUR: The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Monday asked the Maharashtra government to consider setting up a unit or plant for production of oxygen at Nagpur for COVID-19 patients.
A division bench of Justices Z A Haq and A B Borkar was hearing a public interest litigation taken up suo motu (on its own) last year on the availability of medicines and Remdivisir injections in Nagpur amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are taking up this matter urgently now looking at the situation prevailing today and we are trying to find out solutions with the help of different authorities," the court said.
Advocate S P Bhandarkar, appointed by the court for assistance, raised the issue of shortage of oxygen cylinders which was refuted by the Nagpur unit of the state's Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).
"Without going into the controversy (of whether or not there is a shortage), we suggest the Maharashtra government to consider establishing a unit/plant at Nagpur for production of oxygen," the court said.
The HC bench asked the state government, chief minister and Nagpur district guardian minister to look into matter urgently "looking at the situation prevailing today and that the situation is worsening day by day".
The bench was informed by advocate M G Bhangde, appearing for the FDA, that Remdivisir injections were being supplied to dedicated hospitals as per procedure and they were not being sold by pharmacists over the counter.
Bhandarkar told the court there was lack of Remdivisir injections for needy patients due to illegal activities.
He said people are getting the injections under fake patient names and then selling the same in the black market.
The court asked the authorities to look into this issue.
The bench also took note of a recent incident where a hospital was vandalised by the relatives of a patient who died there and asked the police to ensure safety of doctors and health workers.
The court said it would hear the plea further on April 13.