Goa bans export of oxygen cylinders amid rise in COVID-19 cases

Panaji, Apr 17 (PTI) In light of the spike in COVID-19 cases, the Goa government on Saturday announced a ban on the export of oxygen cylinders and ordered that the stock of this life-saving gas meant for the industry be diverted to health services.

State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, who also holds the industries portfolio, issued the orders.

'In view of the rising coronavirus cases in Goa, the requirement for oxygen has gone up. The export of oxygen cylinders has therefore been banned with immediate effect,' the minister said.

Rane further said that all industrial oxygen requirements will be diverted towards the health services, including the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) and other designated COVID-19 hospitals.

'Necessary directions have been issued to the health secretary to coordinate with the respective collectors to issue an order under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 in public interest and to save people's lives,' he said.

Meanwhile, Rane said the state government has roped in private firms to handle the supply of food to COVID-19 hospitals and treatment centres.

'In our continued efforts to provide quality care to COVID-19 patients, we are once again roping in all agencies viz, patient handling, facility management, Sodexo for dietary and nutrition requirements, and specialised services for patients,' he said.

Goa on Friday recorded 927 COVID-19 cases that took the tally of infections to 65,499, which includes 868 casualties. The coastal state currently has 6,321 active cases. PTI RPS ARU NP NP