The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked municipal corporations in Maharashtra to adopt the model followed by Mumbai’s civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in handling the coronavirus situation, Bar and Bench reported.
While hearing a case on the management of coronavirus situation in the state, a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni also proposed that private hospitals should set up their own oxygen plants to tackle increasing demand of the gas.
“It is high time every private hospital comes up with their oxygen plants,” the court said, citing example of a hospital in Sangli district. “We do not want a single death in Maharashtra due to want of oxygen.”
The court made the observation after Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, appearing for the Maharashtra government, submitted to the court that the state was supposed to receive 1,804 metric tonnes of oxygen supply as per an April 30 central government order, but the amount was not sufficient, The Indian Express reported.
The court took note of the Supreme Court’s observation on Wednesday, where it asked the Centre to hold a meeting with Mumbai municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal to adopt similar Covid-19 containment measures in Delhi.
“If Supreme Court is considering BMC as a model for the country, then other municipal corporations in our state can also adopt a similar model,” the Bombay High Court said on Thursday.
The direction came on a day when Mumbai registered 3,056 new coronavirus cases and 69 deaths, as the city’s daily count of infections remained below the 4,000-mark for the sixth day in a row. The court, however, asked the state government to consider measures like imposing complete lockdowns for a limited period to control the rise in infections in rest of the state.
Addressing the matter of supply of essential drugs like remdesivir, the Bombay High Court said that the Centre and state government should take strict measures to curb black-marketing and profiteering by multinational companies, Live Law reported.
The observation came after Kumbhakoni informed the court that Maharashtra had received only 3,50,871 vials of remdesivir, even as the Centre had allocated 8.09 lkah of them between April 21 and May 9.
In response, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the Centre, said that the Union government, in an affidavit to the Supreme Court, had submitted alternatives to remdesivir, which were more widely available and equally effective.
The court then asked why wasn’t an advisory issued on the matter when the medicines were discussed about in the Supreme Court.
“None can be allowed to profit from the sale of essential drugs,” the court said. “It is you, the central government and you, the state government...You have to put your foot down. India is not a country for foreign companies to make.”