Two men held for black marketing of oxygen cylinders in Ghaziabad amid COVID crisis

By Express News Service
BHOPAL: In the wake of an Oxygen tanker bound to Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh reportedly getting stuck in adjoining UP throughout the entire day, the Madhya Pradesh High Court directed the central and MP governments on Monday to ensure unhindered supply of the life-saving gas is ensured at all cost.

A double-judge bench of MP High Court in Jabalpur, comprising Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Atul Sreedharan reprimanded the central and MP government in the matter and directed that such incidents should be allowed to happen again in the future. The HC directed that an unhindered supply of oxygen should be maintained religiously.

The matter was brought to the court’s notice by the state’s ex-advocate general Anand Mohan Mathur, while the double judge bench was hearing a bunch of petitions pertaining to the COVID-19 situation in the state. The HC subsequently posted the hearing on the bunch of petitions to April 28.

Importantly, an oxygen tanker containing the liquid form of the life-saving gas was bound from Jharkhand’s Bokaro to MP’s Sagar district for supplying the oxygen to COVID-19 patients admitted at Sagar’s Bundelkhand Medical College and adjoining districts.

However, the tanker got stuck once it entered Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. When in Fatehpur district of UP, it was allegedly diverted to Jhansi by local cops. Coming to know about it, senior officials of the MP government made a series of phone calls to their counterparts in UP, but it was after many hours that the additional chief secretary (ACS-Home) of UP finally cleared the tanker to travel to UP.

The tanker which in normal course should have reached Sagar by Sunday evening, however, travelled from Jhansi (UP) to Sagar (MP) on Monday morning, causing major problems to COVID-19 patients in Sagar. 

The HC, while hearing the bunch of petitions on COVID-19 situation in MP, also directed the state government to take stringent action against those indulging in hoarding and black-marketing of the anti-viral Remdesivir injections and other necessary medicines and equipment.

The HC also directed the state government to submit on next hearing (April 28) a progress report on implementation of a set of instructions issued by the court during the previous hearing of the bunch of petitions.

Meanwhile, the state reported 12,686 cases of COVID-19 infections and 88 deaths during the last 24 hours, taking the total active cases in the state to 92,534. The new cases which were reported at 23% positivity rate were less than previous day’s 13,601 cases. As many as 11,612 patients also recovered from the viral infection over the last 24 hours, which was more than 11,324 recoveries reported on the previous day.