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Teams deployed to oversee oxygen supply in Pune district

By Yogesh Joshi, Pune
PUBLISHED ON SEP 08, 2020 08:55 PM IST

Following complaints of black marketing and artificial shortage of oxygen supply, Pune district administration on Tuesday ordered deployment of officials at the premises of manufacturers premises to to ensure its supply for treatment of patients continues unabated despite a sharp spike in demand.

The decision comes a day after the state government reserved 80 per cent of the oxygen supply for medical use.

With demand rising amid increasing number of Covid patients, Pune divisional commissioner Saurabh Rao, said that the availability of oxygen is the next big challenge for the administration and hence, the authorities have deployed dedicated teams at the oxygen manufacturing units in the district to monitor and control its supply.

Teams comprising food and drug administration officials, police personnel and excise officials will be stationed at manufacturing units. “They will control and monitor the supply of oxygen for medical purposes,” added Rao. He said that the administration is also exploring options of routing supply from Raigad district.

“The state government has already given instructions that oxygen-producing units will allocate 80 per cent of the total produced oxygen towards medical purposes and if need be, this percentage can be increased,” said Rao.

He added that besides deploying dedicated teams at the oxygen-producing units, two officials have been deployed as nodal officers who will control the supply of oxygen to the hospitals and curb black marketing as instances of artificial shortage were reported.

On Monday, Pune district collector Rajesh Deshmukh held a meeting with manufacturers and suppliers in which he asked them to reserve only 20 per cent supply for industries. The decision came days after deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said that the state government has decided that 50 per cent of the oxygen production in Maharashtra be reserved for medical use in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Covid cases in Pune are rising and there is a growing demand for oxygen from hospitals for critical patients. To ensure adequate supply to them, I have asked manufacturers and suppliers to reserve 80 per cent oxygen supply for medical use,” Deshmukh had said.

As on Sunday, Pune district’s progressive positive tally of Covid cases stood at 2,03,468 with 4,470 deaths.

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