India records 3.14 Lakh Covid Cases, highest-ever recorded in any country; SC takes suo motu cognizance

In what could be termed as a grim milestone, India reported the world’s biggest-ever daily surge with 3.14 lakh new cases and 2,104 deaths since yesterday. This is the highest one day tally recorded anywhere in the world. With 3,14,835 new cases, the total infections stand at 1,59,30,965. The toll, meanwhile, stands at 1,84,657.

The fresh surge surpasses the previous highest one-day rise in the world of 2,97,430 cases posted by the United States in January, news agency Reuters reported.

India has been battling with an acute shortage of oxygen supply, hospital beds and the anti-viral drug Remdesivir used in the treatment of Covid.

While efforts have been ramped up to manufacture vaccines in the country, the situation has turned out to be quite grim in ten states including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and Rajasthan that account for over 75 per cent of new COVID-19 cases.

In the wake of the surge of the positive cases, other states have been announcing tough restrictions to contain the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, Delhi High Court on Tuesday slammed the Central Government saying it seemed that “human lives are not that important.. for the state. It is the responsibility of the government. Beg… borrow… or steal, it is your job.”

As reported by Live Law, the remark came after Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta submitted before the Bench that time was given till April 22 as regards the ban on industrial oxygen as technologically industries require about 72 hours to shut down their operations.

Questioning the said submission, Justice Sanghi asked the SGI that even in such emergent situations, to say that industries will be allowed to function and cannot be stopped even for sometime till some alternate arrangements are made will be “difficult for the bench to accept.”

The order came after an urgent plea filed by Max Healthcare, citing an acute shortage of oxygen. Max had informed the court that it currently has only three hours of oxygen and if the oxygen runs outs, the lives of 400 patients, out of which 262 are COVID patients, are under threat.

The bench further pulled up the Central Government for providing exemption to steel and petroleum industries while banning the use of oxygen for industrial purposes.

“If necessary, Centre should divert entire supply from industries particularly steel and petroleum,” the bench observed.

“The reality is that there is no oxygen. You have to arrange. Hospitals have run dry,” the bench told the Centre.

Amid the ongoing second wave of the pandemic in the country, the Supreme Court has today asked to see a “national plan” on oxygen supply, essential drugs, and method of vaccination and issued notice to the Centre. The apex court has stepped into the case at a time six High Courts across the country are hearing related petitions involving the crisis of oxygen, beds, and the anti-viral drug Remdesivir in hospitals. It also appointed senior advocate Harish Salve as amicus curiae to assist it in suo motu case on COVID-19 management.

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