Let us hear the voices, we don’t want clampdown on information: SC at COVID-19 hearing
New Delhi, Apr 30: The Supreme Court has asked the Centre about the rationale behind the allocation of oxygen.
Further the court also sought to known if the Centre is planning a lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. The court is hearing a suo motu petition on COVID-19 management. The Bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said that the court will only examine issues of national importance.
The court asked how much investment has the Centre made into the vaccine companies. How much advance has been given in the last one year and what has been the financial contribution by the Union Government in research and development of the vaccines, the court also asked.
Further the court also sought to know how the illeterates and those with no access to internet register for vaccination. The Bench also asked the Centre why it is not buying 100 per cent of the vaccine doses as it is in a better place to determine the equity and distribution. Why can't the Centre follow the national immunisation programme police with respect to COVID-19 vaccines, the Bench asked. The court also observed that the vaccines are public goods and their manufacture is publicly funded.
The court said that the private manufacturers cannot be allowed to decide which state state should get how much.
The court said that India can under the existing legal regime bypass the patent regime for Remdesivir by importing rom Bangladesh and take licence from the country's manufacturer to produce the same in India.
The court also suggested that hostels, Temples, Churches and other place can be opened and converted into COVID-19 care centres. Further the court also said that there should not be any presumption that the grievances raised on the internet by citizens are false. The court said that there should be a free flow of information and the voices of citizens must be heard.
On the ongoing situation, the court said that even doctors and healthcare workers are not getting beds.
The situation is grim, the court also said. We agree that the healthcare infrastructure we inherited over the past 70 years is not adequate. The health sector has come to a breaking point and hence retired doctors or officials can be re-employed.