New Delhi:
The death of COVID-19 patients due to non supplying of oxygen is a "criminal act and not less than a "genocide", said that the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday amid reports of shortage of medical oxygen due to rise in COVID-19 infections.

"We are at pain in observing that death of Covid patients just for non supplying of oxygen to the hospitals is a criminal act and not less than a genocide by those who have been entrusted the task to ensure continuous procurement and supply chain of the liquid medical oxygen," read the order by a bench of Justice Ajit Kumar and Justice Siddhartha Varma.

The High Court observed that stories of hoarding of oxygen cylinders and harassment meted out to those poor citizens who were begging for an oxygen cylinder to save the life of their near and dear ones, both at the end of district administration and police administration are being viralled in social media.

"The news was also viralled that five patients had died in ICU of a new trauma centre of Medical College, Meerut on Sunday last. Similarly, news were also being viralled that one Sun Hospital, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow and another private hospital at Meerut had taken their hands off the admitted Covid patients only for the reason that oxygen supply was not made even after demand. We find these news items showing a quite contrary picture to one claimed by the Government that there was sufficient supply of oxygen," it pointed out.

The High Court further said that the current state of affairs about the management of an online portal created by the Government today casts a shadow upon COVID-19 Hospital Management.

As per the union health minister, there are currently 2,85,832 active cases in Uttar Pradesh. A total of 10,43,134 recoveries and 13,447 deaths have been reported in the state so far.