A National Task Force (NTF) consisting of 12 members was constituted by the Supreme Court of India on Saturday to assess and overlook the availability and distribution of medical oxygen to the states and Union Territories.
The bench said the Union Cabinet Secretary will be the convenor of the task force and may nominate an officer not below the rank of Additional Secretary to depute for him, when necessary.
"The rationale for constituting a task force at a national level is to facilitate a public health response to the pandemic based on scientific and specialised domain knowledge. We expect that the leading experts in the country shall associate with the work of the task force both as members and resource persons," the top court said in its order.
The top court said in its order passed on May 6 uploaded on Saturday that the Secretary of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will be ex-officio member of the task force.
The bench said that other members of the task force will be Dr Bhabatosh Biswas, Former Vice Chancellor, West Bengal University of Health Sciences, Kolkata; Dr Devender Singh Rana, Chairperson, Board of Management, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi; Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairperson and Executive Director, Narayana Healthcare, Bengaluru; Dr Gagandeep Kang, Professor, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu; and Dr JV Peter, Director, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu.
Five other members of the task force include Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairperson and Managing Director, Medanta Hospital and Heart Institute, Gurugram; Dr Rahul Pandit, Director, Critical Care Medicine and ICU, Fortis Hospital, Mulund (Mumbai, Maharashtra) and Kalyan (Maharashtra); and Dr Saumitra Rawat, Chairman & Head, Department of Surgical Gastroenterology and Liver Transplant, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi.
The bench said that Dr Shiv Kumar Sarin, Senior Professor and Head of Department of Hepatology, Director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Science (ILBS), Delhi and Dr Zarir F Udwadia, Consultant Chest Physician, Hinduja Hospital, Breach Candy Hospital and Parsee General Hospital, Mumbai, will be members of the task force.
The task force will also suggest ways to ensure the availability of medicines needed to treat Covid-19.