No shortage of medical oxygen in Haryana: CM Khattar

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Chandigarh, Apr 26 (PTI) Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday asserted that there is no shortage of medical oxygen in the state while assuring people that the state government was geared up to ensure people do not face any problem amid the raging coronavirus pandemic.

Khattar visited Panipat, Rohtak, Hisar and Faridabad to take stock of the situation amid a surge in the number of virus cases.

The Chief Minister, who was responding to questions posed by reporters during a visit to Panipat, ruled out any shortage of medical oxygen in the state.

“There is no oxygen shortage neither in Hisar or at any other place,” said Khattar whose response came when his attention was drawn to some deaths in three private hospitals in Rewari, Gurugram and Hisar allegedly due to oxygen shortage.

He, however, said that magisterial probe has been ordered in these incidents.

Notably, the kin of most of the patients who died in the incident had levelled allegations of oxygen shortage.

In another development with Haryana facing increased demand of medical oxygen, Home and Health Minister Anil Vij said, “Installation of oxygen generation plant by all hospitals in the state has been made mandatory”.

While Khattar asserted there was no shortage of oxygen, Vij in his tweets, however, pointed to shortage of empty oxygen cylinders in hospitals.

Vij, under whose chairmanship the state government on Monday formed a sub-committee to monitor the COVID situation, said to overcome shortage of oxygen cylinders, “all factory owners in Haryana have been directed to deposit all cylinders they have with the respective deputy commissioners as there is a great shortage of cylinders in hospitals”.

Vij also requested to Indian Medical Association to come forward and lend a helping hand amid the COVID situation. 'We want to create extra coronavirus hospitals at places of need. For that we are in need of more doctors. Please come forward,' he tweeted while referring to the IMA.

With Haryana seeing an influx of patients from Delhi and elsewhere in the wake of the sharp rise in cases, CM Khattar while responding to a question said, “We will treat them irrespective of wherever they may be from”.

The Chief Minister also visited the site in Panipat and Hisar where a 500-bed dedicated COVID hospital each is to be set up.

Speaking in Rohtak after taking stock of essential health services for COVID-19 patients at PGIMS-Rohtak, Khattar said no coronavirus patient will be allowed to suffer due to lack of medical oxygen.

The Chief Minister said Haryana's daily quota for medical oxygen has been increased to 200 metric tonnes (MT) which was earlier fixed at 162 MT by the Centre. The central government has been requested for 240 MT of oxygen, he said, as per an official statement.

Khattar said industrialist Naveen Jindal, who is a former MP, has also said that he will send 5 MT of liquid oxygen and people will not be allowed to suffer from a lack of the life-saving gas.

In view of the raging COVID-19 pandemic, he said 650 additional beds are being arranged at PGIMS-Rohtak, whereas earlier 350 beds are already available for COVID-19 patients.

He also said 1,250 additional beds are being arranged in different medical colleges of the state and space has already been identified for setting up 500 such beds.

Health Minister Vij, said that amid the ongoing COVID-19 situation, 20 vehicles each would be deployed in all the districts so that these can be used as ambulances.

Vij, who also heads the state-level COVID monitoring committee and held its meeting here, said the MBBS and final-year PG students studying in medical colleges will also be deputed so that the patients do not face any problem in the hospitals.

The Health Minister said the deputy commissioners have been directed to make arrangements of additional beds in their districts. For this, the use of vacant halls, schools, dharamshalas and the support from social organisations can be taken, he said.

Meanwhile, Khattar, who also visited Faridabad, said no stone would be left unturned to ensure uninterrupted supply of oxygen.

At Atal Bihari Vajpayee Medical College in Faridabad where Khattar reviewed arrangements, an additional bed capacity of 100 for COVID patients was being created and the facility would be run with the help of Army's Western Command.

In Hisar, Khattar directed the officers concerned to explore the possibilities of setting up a 500-bed hospital in the premises of O P Jindal Modern School. In Panipat district, the 500-bed hospital would be set up in the premises of the Indian Oil Corporation Refinery, the statement said. PTI SUN VSD HDA