Taking a serious note of the issue of shortage of medical oxygen in many states across the country amid surging COVID-19 cases, the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Saturday said that the Centre has taken concrete steps to resolve the issue and situation will be normalised soon.
The Union Minister chaired a high-level meeting with the Health Ministers of 11 states and Union territories (UTs) today and reviewed the availability of oxygen, ventilators, manpower, medicines, hospital beds in the affected states/UT including--Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, West Bengal, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
Talking to after the meeting, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the government of India is developing oxygen generation plants in many hospitals across the country.
"We are buying 1 lakh more cylinders. Last year, we purchased 1 lakh cylinders and gave them free of cost to all the states. The process of moving oxygen from one state to another will not be a hindrance now. The Ministry of Home Affairs has also issued necessary orders in this regard," he said.
Notably, in today's Covid review meeting, many states raised the issue of lack of oxygen and Remdesivir.
Speaking about the shortage of Remdesivir, Dr Harsh Vardhan, said that the shortage of Remedesvir would be handled as quickly as possible.
"For this, the Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers is getting full support and many big compes. They have also been asked to increase their production. Along with this, the export of this drug has been banned outside India. For any type of black marketing or hoarding of this drug or black marketing of other drugs, instructions have been given to take strict action through the Drug Controller," he said.
"Today we had a meeting with heath Minister of 11 states. We talk about how to better our strategy and deal with the surging Covid case. We addressed questions related to the increasing capacity of oxygen beds, ventilators, and Remdesivir injections if there is a shortage of these in the states. Issues related to COVID-19 vaccination and genome sequencing were also discussed during the meeting. We also talked about increasing testing and contact tracing strategies and shared our concerns with the states," he added.
The Union Health Minister said that states have also been assured that the Centre will assist them in dealing with the situation the same way it did in the past year.
According to the Union Ministry of Health, India reported 2,34,692 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, reporting yet another highest single-day spike. India contributed 22.8 per cent of the total cases reported worldwide on April 12.
( With inputs from ANI )
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