A third wave of COVID-19 will hit the country according to experts and will affect children too, the Supreme Court said on Thursday emphasising the need to prepare for the same including vaccinating people of age groups with young children.
A Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah said that if preparations are made right away, we may be able to tackle the third wave for which scientific planning to vaccinate persons would be needed.
“The third surge in India which is around the corner according to experts will affect children. So when a child goes to hospital, the mother and father will also have to go. That is why vaccination will have to be over for this group of people. We need to plan for this in a scientific way and thus make arrangement,” the Court said.
If we prepare today we may be able to handle it, the Court added.
The Court also urged the government to examine the possibility of utilising services of doctors who have completed MBBS and waiting to enrol for PG courses. Their services could prove crucial for the third wave.
“Today we have 1.5 lakh doctors who have finished medical course but waiting for NEET exam. How do you tap them? 1.5 lakh doctors and 2.5 lakh nurses are sitting at home. They will be crucial for third wave,” Justice Chandrachud said.
The Court was hearing an appeal filed by the Central government against the show cause notice for contempt issued against its officers by the Delhi High Court for failing to provide 700 MT of oxygen to Delhi as per Supreme Court order.
The Court had stayed the Delhi High Court order invoking contempt jurisdiction stating that initiating contempt will not help salvage the Oxygen situation.
However, it had asked the Central government to submit a tabulated plan to meet the 700 MT Oxygen target by 10.30 am on Thursday.
Pursuant to the same, the Central government had submitted a detailed plan to the Court on Thursday.
The Central government told the Court that it had delivered 730 metric tonnes of Oxygen yesterday to Delhi.
As the hearing on the plan progressed on Thursday, the Court noted that the formula provided by Central government to arrive at the requirement of Oxygen for Delhi needs to be re-examined since the Centre’s formula only takes into account ICU beds and hospital admissions but not those who are at home but in need of Oxygen or requirements for ambulance etc.
“Your formula needs a relook. When you prepared the formula not everybody who went to ICU needed oxygen. But now many home isolation patients need oxygen. Your formula does not take into account ambulances etc.,” the Court remarked.
The Court also said that whatever stocks are procured need to reach the hospitals.
“It is not about allocating it to state but also the logistics to see that it is distributed to hospitals,” the Court remarked.
The hearing is progressing.
During yesterday’s hearing, the Court had cited the success of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in handling the pandemic situation in Mumbai, and asked the Centre to hold a meeting with municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal to adopt similar measures in Delhi.