PM Modi takes stock of oxygen situation in 11 high-burden States with Covid infections

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 23, 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting with chief ministers on Covid-19 situations through video conferencing, in New Delhi, on Friday   -  PTI

SC postpones hearing on national Covid management plan till Tuesday

Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged eleven States to be strict against hoarding and black marketing of medical oxygen and medicines in the backdrop of unprecedented rise in the Covid-19 cases during the second wave.

Addressing the heads of 11 high-burden States with Covid 19 infection, Modi appealed to set up a high-level co-ordination committee to carry oxygen to different hospitals of the State as per requirement immediately.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Friday adjourned the hearing on national Covid management plan till Tuesday while expressing displeasure on some senior advocates who the apex court said unfairly “imputing motives” to the judges. On Thursday, highest court in the country suo moto cognisance of the grim Covid-19 situation in the country and asked the Centre to come out with a national Covid management plan.

According to the government, 10 States including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan have reported 75.01 per cent of the news cases.

Concern over shortage

In the meeting, the States highlighted their concerns over oxygen supply. The Prime Minister said that every State should ensure that no oxygen tanker, whether it is meant for any State, is stopped or gets stranded. He added there is a need to do more testing so that people get the facility easily. On Thursday also, Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review oxygen supply besides holding a meeting of oxygen manufacturers to take stock of the situation on Friday.

Expressing his grief over recent fire breakout at an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Vijay Vallabh hospital in Palghar district’s Virar in which 13 Covid patients reportedly died, he urged that the administrative staff of the hospital needs to be made more aware about the safety protocols. He further added that the administration should continuously make people aware so that they do not indulge in panic buying.

Delhi’s request

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal apprised Modi of the on-going oxygen crisis in the national capital. He urged Modi to airlift oxygen from Odisha and West Bengal. He said people are suffering due to shortage of oxygen and a major tragedy may occur if this issue is not addressed at the earliest.

“People are in distress because of oxygen crisis and a major tragedy may occur if this hurdle is not resolved at the earliest…. I urge you to call the Chief Ministers of the states where there are oxygen factories, but the trucks are being stopped scheduled for Delhi and oxygen is not able to reach for patients in Delhi,” Kejriwal said.

Earlier, a presentation was given by V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Ayog which highlighted the preparations being done to counter the new surge of infections. He also presented the roadmap for increasing the medical facilities and targeted treatment of patients, according to the release.

India reported 3,32,730 cases on Friday with 2,263 deaths in the last 24 hours. Cumulatively, the total cases stand at 1,62,63,695 out of which total active cases were 24,28,616 , recovered cases at 1,36,48,159 and the death toll stood at 1,86,920, according to the Health Ministry data.

Published on April 23, 2021

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