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COVID-19 update | Provide oxygen forthwith to hospitals by whatever means: Delhi HC to Centre

A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said responsibility to ensure oxygen supply is squarely on Central government shoulders and if necessary, entire supply of oxygen to industries including steel and petroleum can be diverted for medical usage.

April 21, 2021 / 08:59 PM IST
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Representative Image

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Centre to forthwith provide oxygen by whatever means to the hospitals in the national capital which are treating serious COVID-19 patients and are facing scarcity of oxygen.

"Why is the Centre not waking up to the gravity of the situation? We are shocked and dismayed hospitals running out of oxygen but steel plants are running," the high court said.

COVID-19 update | Delhi govt hospitals to get 164 more beds with oxygen backup, 122 ICU beds in two weeks

A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said responsibility to ensure oxygen supply is squarely on Central government shoulders and if necessary, entire supply of oxygen to industries including steel and petroleum can be diverted for medical usage.

"The steel and petrochemical industries are oxygen guzzlers and diverting oxygen from there can meet hospitals' requirements," the bench said. "If Tatas can divert oxygen they are generating for their steel plants to medical use, why can't others? This is the height of greed. Is there no sense of humanity left or not," the court observed.

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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The court was hearing a plea with regard to urgent need of oxygen in some Delhi hospitals.
PTI
first published: Apr 21, 2021 08:59 pm

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