[BREAKING] SC Constitutes 12 Member National Task Force For Streamlining Supply of Oxygen and Medicines

Thr Supreme Court has set up a National Task Force comprising twelve members to facilitate public health response to the current Covid-19 crisis based on scientific and specialised knowledge.

The task force has doctors and medical experts from across the country, and the Cabinet Secretary to Union Government will be its convenor.

The task force’s main issues would deal with streamlining of oxygen allocation to different States, ensuring the availability of essential medicines and drugs to make sure that the country is prepared for future emergencies.

Hon’ble Justice DY Chandrachud and Hon’ble Justice MR Shah passed this order.

Explaining the rationale behind setting up the task force, the Court stated that the task force would enable decision-makers to provide inputs on the current and future problems.

The task force will consider the current pandemic’s future ramifications and ensure that future requirements could be scientifically mapped based on the current scenario.


The following persons are members of the task force:-

(i) Dr Bhabatosh Biswas, Former Vice Chancellor, West Bengal University of Health Sciences, Kolkata;

(ii) Dr Devender Singh Rana, Chairperson, Board of Management, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi;

(iii) Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairperson and Executive Director, Narayana Healthcare, Bengaluru;

(iv) Dr Gagandeep Kang, Professor, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu;

(v) Dr JV Peter, Director, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu;

(vi) Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairperson and Managing Director, Medanta Hospital and Heart Institute, Gurugram;

(vi) Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairperson and Managing Director, Medanta Hospital and Heart Institute, Gurugram;

(vii) Dr Rahul Pandit, Director, Critical Care Medicine and ICU, Fortis Hospital, Mulund (Mumbai, Maharashtra) and Kalyan (Maharashtra);

(viii) Dr Saumitra Rawat, Chairman & Head, Department of Surgical Gastroenterology and Liver Transplant, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi; 5 “Task Force”

(ix) Dr Shiv Kumar Sarin, Senior Professor and Head of Department of Hepatology, Director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Science (ILBS), Delhi;

(x) Dr Zarir F Udwadia, Consultant Chest Physician, Hinduja Hospital, Breach Candy Hospital and Parsee General Hospital, Mumbai;

(xi) Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India (ex officio member);

(xii) The Convenor of the National Task Force, who shall also be a member, will be the Cabinet Secretary to the Union Government. The Cabinet Secretary may nominate an officer not below the rank of Additional Secretary to depute for him, when necessary.

Terms of reference for the National Task Force are as follows:-

  • Recommend and assess the oxygen requirement of the entire country.
  • Devise and formulate the method for oxygen allocation to UTs and States on an equitable, rational and scientific basis.
  • Make recommendations regarding increasing available oxygen supplies based on projected and present demand during the pandemic.
  • Review the allocation of oxygen from time to time, based on stage and impact of the pandemic.
  • Help in auditing of States and UTs.
  • To check if supplies sent by the Union ash reached States/UTs.
  • To ensure supplies meant for hospitals and health institutions are done efficiently.
  • To ensure stocks are made available in a professional, transparent and effective way.
  • Accountability concerning the utilisation of oxygen made available to States/UTs.
  • To prepare for future and current emergencies.
  • To use technology to come up with innovative solutions to provide help in rural areas.
  • Suggest methods to augment the availability of nurses, doctors and paramedical staff

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