Supreme Court forms national task force for transparent oxygen allocation
Daily NEWS Summary | 08-05-2021; The Supreme Court has established a 12-member national task force to expedite and ensure the “efficient and transparent” allocation of liquid medical oxygen on a “scientific, rational and equitable basis” to the states and territories Union fighting against Covid -19.
- The superior court had expressed its dissatisfaction with the old formula “oxygen per bed” of the Center.
- This “preliminary and ready” arrangement, as the court said, was based on the calculation of the oxygen allowance based on the number of ICU / non-ICU beds.
- However, the court said the formula ignored the fact that many Covid-19 patients who urgently need oxygen do not receive beds or are confined to home care.
- A bench run by Judge D.Y. Chandrachud, in a 24-page order released on Saturday, said the formula should be ruled out and the oxygen allocation issue should be reconsidered.
- A new, more scientifically designed mechanism is expected to meet current oxygen needs and be flexible enough to meet “unforeseen demands due to emergencies that may arise in assigned territories”.
- The court said that creating an expert body or working group “made up of recognized national experts with diverse experience in health facilities” to function within the central government apparatus would facilitate a public health response to the pandemic based on scientific and specialist knowledge.
- The tribunal said policymakers should go beyond improvising ad hoc solutions based on current problems. They must prepare for the future. The work of the task force would provide the Center with input and strategies.
- Members of the working group are Dr Bhabatosh Biswas, former Vice-Chancellor, West Bengal University of Health Sciences, Kolkata; Dr Devender Singh Rana, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi; Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, President and CEO, Narayana Healthcare, Bengaluru; Dr Gagandeep Kang, professor, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu; Dr J.V. Peter, Principal, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu; Dr Naresh Trehan, President and CEO, Medanta Hospital and Heart Institute, Gurugram; Dr Rahul Pandit, Director, Critical Care Medicine and Intensive Care Unit, Fortis Hospital, Mulund (Mumbai, Maharashtra) and Kalyan (Maharashtra); Dr Saumitra Rawat, Chairman and Head of Department of Surgical Gastroenterology and Liver Transplantation, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi; Dr Shiv Kumar Sarin, Senior Lecturer and Head of Department of Hepatology, Director of Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), Delhi; Dr Zarir F. Udwadia, Thoracic Physician, Hinduja Hospital, Breach Candy Hospital and Parsee General Hospital, Mumbai; and Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India (ex officio member).
- The coordinator of the national working group, who will also be a member, will be the cabinet secretary of the Union government.
- The working group will begin its work immediately and will have an initial useful life of six months. The court urged the task force to address and determine the “urgent matter” of oxygen modalities within a week.
DGCI Approves Anti-COVID Drug Developed by DRDO for Emergency Use
Daily NEWS Summary | 08-05-2021; The Comptroller General of Drugs of India (DGCI) has authorized the emergency use of the anti-Covid-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Sciences Allied (INMAS), a laboratory of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), in collaboration with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), Hyderabad.
- In a statement issued on Saturday, the Defense Ministry said that under the order, emergency use of the drug as a supplement is allowed for patients with moderate to severe Covid-19.
- Further they added that being a generic molecule and an analog of glucose, it can be easily produced and abundantly available in the country.
- The medicine comes as a powder in a sachet, which is taken by mouth by dissolving it in water.
- It accumulates in cells infected with the virus and prevents virus growth by stopping viral synthesis and energy production.
- Its selective accumulation in cells infected with the virus makes this drug unique. Results from clinical trials have shown that this molecule helps faster recovery in hospital patients and reduces dependence on supplemental oxygen, the statement noted.
- Furthermore, stated that a higher proportion of patients treated with 2-DG showed a negative RT-PCR conversion in patients with Covid-19. “The drug will be of immense benefit to people with Covid-19,” the ministry said.
The positive test for Covid-19 is not mandatory for admission, according to the Ministry of Health.
Daily NEWS Summary | 08-05-2021; The requirement of a positive test for the Covid-19 virus is not mandatory for admission to a Covid-19 health facility and no patient will be denied services, the Health Ministry said on Saturday, announcing the national policy. reviewed for admission to various institutions. Covid-19 facility categories.
- The patient-centered measure aims to ensure rapid, efficient and comprehensive treatment of Covid-19 patients, the ministry said.
- The revised guidelines cover drugs such as oxygen or essential drugs, even if the patient is from another city, the statement added.
- The revised guidelines further stated that no patient would be denied admission for failing to present a valid identification card stating that they belonged to the city where the hospital is located.
- The ministry advised the main secretaries of the states / territories of the union to issue the necessary orders and circulars, incorporating the new guidelines within three days, which will be applied until they are replaced by an adequate uniform policy.
Supreme Court orders immediate decongestion of prisons given increase in Covid-19
Daily NEWS Summary | 08-05-2021; The Supreme Court has taken a humanitarian perspective on the prison population of more than four lakh in overcrowded prisons, even as the second wave of the pandemic continues its devastating sweep across the country.
“India has more than four lakh detainees in prison. We see that some prisons in India are overcrowded and house detainees beyond their optimal capacity…. The demand for decongestion is a question which concerns the health and the right to life of both detainees and working police officers ”,underlined the Court presided over by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, composed of Judges L. Nageswara Rao and Surya Kant.
- In a 14-page order issued on Saturday, the Ramana Supreme Court ordered police to take a conviction sheet from the superior court in the Arnesh Kumar case and limit arrests during the pandemic to avoid prison overcrowding; above all, not to order automatic detention in cases involving sentences of up to seven years in prison or less.
- Furthermore, he ordered the formation of special committees or “high power committees” in most states and Union territories to examine prisoners and release them on provisional bail.
- Apart from these new releases, the court said that prisoners released on provisional bail during the 2020 wave should be released again “immediately”.
- Ninety percent of inmates released last year returned to their prisons by February and March 2021.
- Likewise, inmates who received probation in 2020 are expected to be released again with 90 days probation in an effort to decongest prisons, control infections and save lives inside prison walls.
- More importantly, this time the court took into consideration a situation in which some detainees may be too afraid to return home, when they may be released on bail or on parole, due to their social situation or simply because that they are worried about becoming infected with Covid-19 while you are outside.
- In such cases, the court ordered adequate medical facilities, immediate treatment and periodic testing for inmates and prison staff. He said that maintaining daily hygiene in prisons should be a reward.
- The court even ordered the state and prison authorities to transport released prisoners to their homes so that they would have no issues with the curfew or lockdown.
- Significantly, the court, addressing the government, said “the fight against the pandemic benefits enormously from transparent administration.”
- In this regard, he noted how the prison occupancy rate in Delhi is updated on the relevant official websites.
- These measures should be considered by other states and should be adopted as good practice. In addition, all decisions of the high-level committees should be published on the websites of the respective state legal service authorities / state governments / superior courts in order to enable effective dissemination of information.
Tamil Nadu Announces Full Two-Week Lockdown Starting May 10
Daily NEWS Summary | 08-05-2021; The government of Tamil Nadu imposed a total blockade (with some relaxation) on May 8 across the state for two weeks between 4 a.m. May 10 and 4 a.m. May 24 to combat the spread of Covid-19.
- State government said there would be no statewide restrictions between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. – Stores will operate during this time, May 8 and 9 to allow the public to prepare before full closure.
- Inter-district and intra-district vehicle travel (including public transportation) will be suspended during the closure, except for essential travel.
- Trips would be allowed for weddings of close relatives, funerals, job interviews and hospitals upon presentation of the relevant documents.
- In a statement, the chief minister, M.K. Stalin said that all stores, except food and grocery stores and meat stalls, would remain closed.
Covid updates: The number of reported coronavirus cases in India was 2,21,29,847 at the time of this bulletin, with a death toll of 2,40,171.