NEW DELHI: The first meeting of the 12-member National Task Force set up by the Supreme Court to ensure the delivery of medical oxygen throughout the country in a streamlined manner, was held on Sunday, sources said.
The National Task Force members include Bhabatosh Biswas, former vice chancellor of West Bengal University of Health Sciences, Kolkata; Devender Singh Rana, chairperson of Board of Management, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi; Devi Prasad Shetty, chairperson and executive director of Narayana Healthcare in Bengaluru; Gagandeep Kang, professor, Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore in Tamil Nadu, among others.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and Union Secretary (MoRTH) Giridhar Aramane were also present in the meeting, sources said.
According to the directions of the Supreme Court, few experts can be co-opted in the team.
Accordingly, V K Paul, member (Health), NITI Aayog; Randeep Guleria, director AIIMS, New Delhi; Balram Bhargava, DG ICMR and Secretary (DHR); and Sunil Kumar, DGHS, Ministry of Health, were present as special invitees in the meeting.
All members of the National Task Force commended the significant amount of work done by various ministries and departments of Government of India in augmenting the oxygen production capacities as well as in ensuring its efficient distribution, sources said.
The members also provided specific suggestions for further increasing oxygen production and availability, managing the demand side of medical oxygen, and parameters on which individual health facilities could ensure economy in use of medical oxygen, they said.
The National Task Force decided to continue its deliberations to arrive at specific recommendations.
The Supreme Court had constituted the 12-member National Task Force of top medical experts to formulate a methodology for allocation of oxygen to states and Union territories for saving lives of Covid-19 patients and to facilitate a public health response to the pandemic.