In his live address on Tuesday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that the state produces 1,200 metric tonnes of oxygen. However, 100% of it is currently being used to treat COVID-19 patients. Amid the shortage of medical oxygen, Uddhav urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide IAF (Indian Air Force) assistance in the supply of oxygen for medical use from other states.
Besides, Maharashtra Minister Eknath Shinde has said that the state government is exploring various ways to tide over the shortage of medical oxygen which is in high demand due to the huge rise in COVID-19 cases. He said the Jamnagar plant of Reliance has agreed to supply additional 100 metric tonnes of oxygen to the state following a request made by Thackeray.
Meanwhile, in his address to the state, Uddhav admitted that the medical facilities in the state are falling short and may even crumble in the near future. "We are continuously upgrading our healthcare infrastructure but they are under pressure. There is a shortage of medical oxygen, beds and the demand for Remdesivir has also increased," he said.
Moreover, Uddhav also requested PM Modi to increase the time period to file for GST returns by 2-3 months due to the present crisis. The Centre needs to provide aid to people affected by the pandemic on the lines of aid given for the people affected by natural calamities, he added.
Furthermore, in order to break the chain of the virus, Thackeray announced lockdown-like restrictions starting 8 pm on April 14 till May 1. However, Mumbai suburban trains and city buses will continue to run, but commutes will be permitted for those in the designated 'essential services', he said.
"From tomorrow 8 pm, Section 144 will be imposed across Maharashtra.. From 7 am-8 pm only essential services shall remain open. This is imperative to break the chain of the virus. Saving lives is our topmost priority," Thackeray said. He also announced a package of Rs 5,476 crore for several beneficiaries which include vendors, auto-rickshaw drivers, house helps, construction workers, etc.