No shortage of medical oxygen in the state, says 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 and Hisar to take stock of things amid the surge in the number of virus cases.

The Chief Minister, who was responding to questions of 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 as he responded 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.

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

Meanwhile, according to a state government statement here, Khattar said strict directions have been given to ensure maintaining of essential services like medical oxygen, antiviral drugs like Remdesivir, etc. and to take strict action against anyone indulging in black marketing or hoarding.

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

He directed Deputy Commissioner, Panipat, Dharmender Singh to get the hospital constructed at the earliest.

He also visited Hisar, where he gave necessary directions for setting up another dedicated COVID 500-bed hospital.

Both these facilities are being set up with assistance from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

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.

Khattar said that 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 the lack of the life-saving gas.

He said that in view of the raging COVID-19 pandemic, an additional 650 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.

The structure will be erected there in the coming three-four days and soon all these beds will be available for the COVID-19 infected patients, he said.

He said private hospitals are being monitored at the state level so that these do not admit more patients than their capacity and the oxygen supply for COVID-19 patients remains constant.

He said COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms who do not require oxygen should remain in isolation in their homes. A health kit is being provided by the Health Department so that all of them can take care of themselves properly at home, he added.

The Chief Minister said in this hour of crisis, the entire administration and the people of the state should work together to defeat this pandemic.

In view of the surge in demand of medical oxygen for COVID-19 patients, the Haryana government on Monday appointed nodal officers/District Drug Controller officers at the district-level to ensure that there is adequate supply and proper distribution of oxygen in all the districts of Haryana, an official statement said.

As per the statement, Haryana would be getting supply of 50 MT of oxygen from Jharkhand's Bokaro, which would be used for emergency and treatment of critical COVID-19 patients.

In Hisar meanwhile, Khattar held detailed discussions with top officials including Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, V Umashankar; Deputy Commissioner, Hisar, Dr Priyanka Soni and other officers for exploring the possibilities of setting up a 500-bed hospital in the premises of O P Jindal Modern School.

The Chief Minister directed that immediate action should be initiated for setting up this hospital.

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