Amid possible shortage, Maha Govt may divert all Oxygen for medical use

Mumbai: Amid increasing demand in view of rising Covid-19 cases and “alarming” situation, the Maharashtra government may divert all oxygen supply for medical use.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said the state government on March 30 has already directed the suppliers to supply 80% oxygen for medical use and 20% for industrial purpose till June 30.

In an online interaction with newspaper owners, editors and distributors, Thackeray said the government may divert all oxygen supply for the medical use. He hinted that oxygen supply in the state is expected to hamper as one of the units in Nagpur will be soon shut down for regular maintenance.

State Public Health Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas said Maharashtra, amid rising Covid-19 cases is struggling to meet the daily oxygen, need of 700 metric tonnes against the state's production capacity of over 1200 metric tonnes.

He noted that if the cases continue to surge fast, the health infrastructure in the state may fall short in the coming 15 days.

Thackeray said a decision on imposing stringent measures to tackle the pandemic will be taken soon but did not confirm if there will be a statewide lockdown.

Thackeray said the state government is increasing testing and also not hiding number of even a single positive case.

The CM further stated that the government proposes to rope in private doctors and others on bond in corona containment. This apart, the government plans to use the services of retired doctors and services during the present crisis.

Thackeray said the state government is exploring an option of E ICU and Tele Medicines.

"If there comes a time when someone's livelihood has to be snatched, there is bound to be anguish. But if there is a dilemma on whether to save a life or a job, then it is important to give priority to life," Thackeray said.

"We have been telling people since last one year. I feel that if all people, be it private offices or shops, had implemented our directives of staggered duty hours, then maybe the situation would not have reached such an alarming level," he said.

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