Send vaccines, give approval for oxygen plants: Capt to Centre
Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday urged the Centre to send immediate supplies of coronavirus vaccines and give approval to two new oxygen plants in the state amid concerns over depleting stocks.
On the availability of vaccines, state chief secretary Vini Mahajan told the CM that the situation was critical with only three days of stocks left, but the central government has assured that more would be sent soon.
Medical education minister OP Soni cited shortage of oxygen supply at an Amritsar hospital, on which the chief secretary said though Indian Oil Limited (OIL) was providing the state with supplies, the situation was a matter of concern.
“A close watch was being kept on the demand-supply situation at both government and private hospitals,” she said.
A committee has been formed by the state government under the principal secretary industries to monitor the situation and coordinate with the centre, added the chief secretary.
Health Secretary Hussan Lal said three plants had been operationalised since the last surge, and two plants at medical colleges of Amritsar and Patiala were awaiting the Centre’s approval.
He said the coronavirus figures are expected to go up further with more testing and by May 5, the state is projected to report 6,000 cases a day if urgent measures are not taken in Ludhiana, Mohali, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Patiala, which will be drivers of the spike.
The CM directed all departments to make all efforts to maximise vaccination among the eligible population. He also urged large industries to take responsibility for getting their employees vaccinated.
IOC refinery begins supply of oxygen to hospitals
Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, India’s largest refiner, Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IndianOil), has started the supply of 150 metric tonnes of oxygen at no cost to various hospitals in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab. The first batch of medical grade oxygen was dispatched to a hospital in Delhi on Monday, IndianOil chairman SM Vaidya said in a press statement. The corporation has diverted the high-purity oxygen used in its mono ethylene glycol (MEG) unit to produce medical-grade liquid oxygen at its Panipat refinery and petrochemical Complex.