HP seeks 8,000 oxygen cylinders from Centre

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Shimla, Apr 29 (PTI) Himachal Pradesh government on Thursday asked for 8,000 oxygen cylinders from the Centre so as to be prepared for any eventuality arising from the second wave of COVID 19.

After a high-level meeting with the state officials, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur urged Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to provide HP with 5,000 D-type and 3000 B-type oxygen cylinders.

In comparison with many big states, Himachal Pradesh was in a better situation with regards to COVID as there was no shortage of beds, oxygen, PPE kits and other equipment, the CM told media here, adding that the need was to prepare for the future.

Meanwhile, he announced that all educational institutions in the state would remain closed till May 10 in view of the spike in COVID-19 cases. Earlier, the government had ordered their closure till May 1.

The CM also said that only 20 persons were allowed to take part in marriage rites and that the wedding feast, popularly known as 'dhaam' in the state, was banned to check the spread of the virus.

Five lakh doses per week were required to carry out the third phase of vaccination for the age group of 18-44 years that would start on May 1, he said, adding the number of vaccination centres would be increased from 500 to 1000 to smoothly conducting the process.

Noting that Kangra was the worst COVID-hit district in the state, the CM said efforts were on to enhance the bed capacity there.

Private hospitals in the most-populated district were directed to reserve half of their beds for COVID patients, he added.

Health Minister Rajiv Saizal, Political Advisor to Chief Minister Trilok Jamwal, Chief Secretary Anil Khachi, Additional Chief Secretaries, R.D. Dhiman and J.C. Sharma, Secretary Health Amitabh Awasthi and other senior officers attended the meeting. PTI DJI MGA MGA MGA