National Task Force formed for oxygen allocation

The rationale for constituting a task force at a national level is to facilitate a public health response to the pandemic based on scientific and specialised domain knowledge…reports Asian Lite News.

The Supreme Court on Saturday set up a 12-member National Task Force (NTF) to facilitate public health response to Covid-19, including streamlining of oxygen distribution in the country, based on scientific and specialised domain knowledge, .

A bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and M.R. Shah said: “A consensus has emerged that there is a need to ensure that the allotments of medical oxygen to the states and UTs are made on a scientific, rational and equitable basis. At the same time, it must allow for flexibility to meet unforeseen demands due to emergencies which may arise within the allocated territories.”

The top court said: “It is necessary that an effective and transparent mechanism is set up within the Union Government for the purpose of allocating medical oxygen to all states and UTs for being used during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Union Government has agreed to set up a National Task Force to streamline the process. This Task Force would be tasked inter alia with formulating a methodology for the scientific allocation of oxygen to the states and UTs.”

The SC bench said the establishment of this task force will enable the decision-makers to have inputs that go beyond finding ad-hoc solutions to the present problems.

“The likely future course of the pandemic must be taken into contemplation at the present time. This will ensure that projected future requirements can be scientifically mapped in the present and may be modulated in the light of experiences gained,” said the bench.

“The rationale for constituting a task force at a national level is to facilitate a public health response to the pandemic based on scientific and specialised domain knowledge. We expect that the leading experts in the country shall associate with the work of the task force both as members and resource persons,” the top court noted in its order.

The bench added: “The Union Government has made its suggestions on the possible names for inclusion in the composition of the task force, while leaving its final composition to the court.

“The establishment of this task force will enable the decision makers to have inputs which go beyond finding ad-hoc solutions to the present problems. The likely future course of the pandemic must be taken into contemplation at the present time,” the top court added.

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