It's time to rise above politics and work to fight the pandemic: Gehlot

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Jaipur, May 2 (PTI) There is a lack of oxygen in Rajasthan in proportion to the number of COVID-19 cases, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said on Sunday and appealed to all to rise above politics to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Gehlot, a senior Congress leader, also claimed that state BJP leaders have also admitted that Rajasthan is not getting enough oxygen -- vital for treatment of critical COVID-19 patients -- from the Centre.

On Saturday, the state logged a record 17,652 COIVD-19 cases and 160 fatalities which pushed the infection tally to 6,15,653 and death toll to 4,399, according to an official report.

The number of active cases has also increased to 1,82,301.

'This is the time to rise above politics and work for the state. It is our endeavour that the Centre and state governments work together to fight against COVID-19,' Gehlot said.

The state government's endeavour is that no patient in Rajasthan loses his or her life due to lack of oxygen, but for 'this we need to allocate appropriate amount of oxygen', he tweeted. 'There is a lack of oxygen in Rajasthan in proportion to the number of coronavirus infected. State BJP leaders have also admitted that the state is not getting enough oxygen from the central government,' the chief minister said.

Gehlot said that three state cabinet ministers had gone to Delhi and informed the Centre about the state's situation and had demanded an increase in the allocation of oxygen and medicines.

The central government has controlled the production of oxygen and remedial medicine of the entire country, so state governments cannot buy oxygen and medicine from the open market, he said.

BJP leaders from the state may not have gone to Delhi due to the COVID-19 situation, but they kept a strong demand for oxygen and medicines for the state with Union ministers through video conferencing, Gehlot claimed.

He appealed to the leader of opposition in the Rajasthan assembly, deputy leader of opposition, the BJP state president and all MPs to speak to central ministers concerned to raise the allocation of oxygen and medicines to the state.

Ghelot asked them to speak to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Union Chemicals and Fertlizers Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and also BJP president JP Nadda.

The central government's Department of Pharmaceuticals comes under Mandaviya's ministry.

The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has put huge pressure on the country's public health system, with several states reeling under a shortage of oxygen, beds, medicines and equipment.