Amid a crippling shortage of life-saving medical oxygen in many Covid-hit parts of the country, Union minister Piyush Goyal has advised states to keep the “demand under control” by containing the rapid second coronavirus wave that has triggered an unprecedented spurt in cases.
“State governments should keep demand (for medical oxygen) under control. The demand-side management is as important as the supply-side management. Containing COVID-19 spread is the responsibility of state governments and they should fulfil this responsibility,” Mr Goyal was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
“If cases continue to rise unlimitedly, then it will pose a major challenge for the healthcare infrastructure of the country. We are with state governments, but they need to manage the demand and take concrete steps to contain COVID-19 spread,” he added.
Mr Goyal also advised states to avoid oxygen wastage.
पेशेंट को जितना जरूरत है उतना ही ऑक्सीजन लगाना चाहिए। कई जगह से वेस्टेज के साथ ही, पेशेंट को जरूरत ना होते हुए भी ऑक्सीजन लगाने की खबर आ रही है
The patient should use as much oxygen as they need. In many places there is news that oxygen is being given even when it is not needed. pic.twitter.com/WVKr45z8tB
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) April 18, 2021
India has been reporting over 2 lakh daily coronavirus cases for the last four days. Before that, it had been consistently reporting over a lakh cases per day. The rising caseloads have put tremendous pressure on the country’s health infrastructure, especially in badly hit states like Maharashtra which has been reporting over 50,000 daily cases for weeks.
Disquieting stories of the families of Covid patients scrambling to arrange hospital beds, vital medicines and medical oxygen – that have been in short supplies – have emerged.
Social media is also flooded with posts of people asking for help in arranging beds, oxygen, medicines and plasma for their families and friends.
Last week, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal had requested the centre to plug the demand-supply gap of medical oxygen.
On Saturday, in response to Mr Thackeray’s letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the oxygen shortage, Mr Goyal had accused him of “petty politics”.
“Saddened to see Mr’s gimmicks on oxygen. GoI (the centre), with all stakeholders, is ensuring maximum oxygen production in India. We are currently producing 110% of Oxygen generating capacity and diverting all available Oxygen from industrial use to medical use,” he had tweeted.
The centre today decided to divert the supply of oxygen meant for industrial use for medical purposes.
Mr Goyal today said the centre has also decided to supply 6177 metric tonnes of oxygen to the 12 worst-hit states.