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UP govt invokes NSA against hospitals for peddling lies on oxygen shortage

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Lucknow: Facing flake over claims of medical oxygen scarcity, the Yogi-led Uttar Pradesh government recently threatened to take extreme measures such as invoking National Security Act against anyone trying to create fear and panic during the pandemic, particularly hospitals falsely claiming oxygen shortage, however additional chief secretary (information) Navneet Sehgal on Tuesday clarified that action would be initiated only against those peddling lies.

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“Some hospitals claimed oxygen shortage, but were found to have adequate supply on inspection. The threat of action is against such entities. Those hospitals with genuine problems should approach the district magistrate or chief medical officer to resolve their problem,” he said.

On Monday, Tata and Reliance offered to augment the oxygen supply in Uttar Pradesh and their proposals are being worked out. Sehgal said, arrangements were being made to procure more oxygen and guidelines for an oxygen audit had been issued. Under this, all government and private hospitals and those converted into Covid facilities would have to provide oxygen data to the government. “A watch is being kept on oxygen availability in all hospitals across districts. With this data, we will ensure there is sufficient supply in the state,” Sehgal said.

The ruling-BJP government in the state is also trying to raise the number of oxygen tankers in the state. The ones already available are being installed with GPS to track their movement. With assistance from the Centre, oxygen plants are also being set up in every district.

To meet the demand for empty oxygen cylinders, the administration has decided to revive a closed oxygen cylinder manufacturing plant in Prayagraj, which is being operated by Bharat Pumps and Compressors Ltd. The plant is scheduled to restart this week and has been given an order for 3,000 cylinders.

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Additionally, 100-bed hospitals have been asked to set up their own oxygen plants. MSME units which produce oxygen have been directly linked to hospitals so that their supply can be replenished at the earliest.

Furthermore, the state is also procuring more Remdesivir and other lifesaving drugs to tackle the worsening Covid situation in every district.

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