PIL filed against shortage of oxygen, ICU beds in Manipur

The PIL prayed to issue a writ of mandamus for directing the respondents to procure sufficient oxygen and make uninterrupted supply of oxygen to the hospitals for COVID-19 patients in Manipur and simultaneously make sufficient ICU beds available in all the hospitals of Manipur.


(PHOTO: IFP)

In view of the reported shortage of oxygen and ICU beds in RIMS, JNIMS and other hospitals due to the massive surge in the number of COVID-19 positive cases in Manipur, advocate Naresh Maimom filed a public interest litigation (PIL) on Friday before the High Court of Manipur, seeking the court's direction to procure sufficient oxygen and ICU beds for COVID-19 patients.

The PIL prayed to issue a writ of mandamus for directing the respondents to procure sufficient oxygen and make uninterrupted supply of oxygen to the hospitals for COVID-19 patients in Manipur and simultaneously make sufficient ICU beds available in all the hospitals of Manipur. 

The oxygen plants operational in the state as on today even after including the Shija Oxygen Plant, can barely meet the demands of medical use of oxygen in the RIMS, JNIMS and other hospitals in Manipur, it stated.  

It also prayed for management of uninterrupted power supply to the local oxygen plants, and urged the management to intervene and get technicians to install the Oxygen Generation Machine at oxygen plants at Thoubal and Churachandpur at the earliest. It further appealed to make the nonfunctional oxygen plants at Thoubal and Churachandpur operational at the earliest, within a stipulated time frame and install more oxygen plants.

The petition also prayed for monitoring the situation and to direct the respondents to submit the status report of the present situation of the shortage of oxygen and supply of the required oxygen to the hospitals.

The PIL stated, “Due to shortage of oxygen supply, many COVID-19 patients succumb to death every day and moreover several COVID-19 patients who approached RIMS, JNIMS and other hospitals were refused to be admitted due to lack of ICU beds and shortage of oxygen, and hence died at home, outside the hospitals and on the pavements.” 

"The state authorities and respondents are responsible for procurement and supply of the required oxygen, and such inability to provide the much required oxygen make them only decide who will live and who will die, which is a criminal act in itself," the PIL stated. 

The PIL further mentioned that the role of the MSPDCL is also very crucial for an uninterrupted power supply to the oxygen plants.  

The respondents of the PIL are the secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; health secretary of the Manipur government; Directorate of Health and Family Welfare, RIMS, JNIMS and MSPDCL.   

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First Published:May 7, 2021, 11:33 p.m.

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