In a dramatic shift of policy, Union Health Ministry on Saturday, announced that the requirement of a positive test for COVID-19 virus is not mandatory for admission to a COVID health facility. This move will stop hospitals from refusing admission to critical patients based on the non-availability of COVID-19 test reports. India currently has 37,23,446 active COVID cases, 1,79,30,960 recovered cases and 2,38,270 fatalities.
Amid atleast five high courts (Delhi, Allahabad, Bombay, Madras, Karnataka) hearing matters regarding oxygen supply, Remdesivir scarcity, bed shortage, vaccination, SC issued notices to the Centre, states and parties who have approached the HCs to show cause why the apex court cannot pass uniform orders on supply of oxygen, essential drugs, method and manner of vaccination and declaration of lockdown. The bench comprising of then-CJI SA Bobde, Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat asked the Union government to present a national plan for dealing with essential services and supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Later on Sunday, the SC ordered that the Central Government shall, in collaboration with the States, prepare a buffer stock of oxygen for emergency purposes and decentralize the location of the emergency stocks.