COVID-19 in Maharashtra: Industrialists promise full support to govt for setting up more vaccination centers, boosting oxygen availability
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Battling with the massive surge in the COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, the chief minister of state Uddhav Thackeray today appealed to industralists and its representatives to provide all possible assistance to the state government in the fight against the novel coronavirus in increasing bed facilities, testing centers, speeding up vaccinations.

The CM interacted with FICCI, CII and other industry representatives through the virtual meeting and appealed them to come forward and cooperate in what is needed during the battle against covid.

The Chief Minister also appealed to the industrialists to set up such facilities and adopt such a system from so that the third wave of Covid-19 may not harm the industry and the economy.

Responding to this request, the leading industrialists of the state assured the Chief Minister that the entire industry sector is with the government in the fight against covid.

During the meeting, representatives of the industries said that in view of the urgency in the state, priority is being given to the availability of oxygen. It was also informed that the industry would take immediate steps to increase the segregation of beds, set up test centers and increase vaccination.

The state is in dire need of oxygen and currently all the oxygen produced is being used for medical purposes. Given the number of patients, more oxygen is needed and we have informed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well, said Uddhav Thackeray.

The Chief Minister said that Maharashtra is getting full support from the Center. He said "he could not say how many waves of COVID-19 would comefurther but now industries in the state need to face the coming wave. Planning should be done from now on. "For example, adoption of covid compatible system, setting up of testing and vaccination facilities, creation of special system for health of workers and employees, setting up of segregation system in your area as well as provision of beds, development of work from home system," instructed the CM.

Dr. Pradeep Vyas pointed out how serious the current situation is. "Even though the mortality rate is relatively low, the doubling period has come down to just 40 days," he said, adding that "we are conducting about 3 lakh tests every day in a population of one million." He said industries should start small projects in their premises to absorb oxygen from the air based on new technologies and provide the produced oxygen purely for medical purposes.

Representatives from JSW, Mahindra, Godrej, Bajaj, Reliance, Tata, Blue Star, L&T, Infosys, Kinetic Engineering while speaking on behalf of all the industrialists at the meeting assured that immediate steps would be taken to ensure maximum safety of the employees.

Industry Minister Subhash Desai also informed that facilities are being set up in the industrial estates in this regard. He said that immediate action would be taken to allow the industries to set up vaccination centers as they were not in the medical space and also appealed to the industries in the housing sector to donate their completed housing projects to the isolation centers.

Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte said that Maharashtra is a major industrial state in the country. Therefore, the restrictions here affect the industry-business and distribution chain of the entire country and that is why we have imposed these restrictions with a very heavy heart. He thanked the industry for its positive response to the rapid availability of oxygen and suggested that the FDA commissioner take further action.

The meeting was attended by Uday Kotak, Niranjan Hiranandani, Deepak Mukhi, Harsh Goenka, Salil Parekh, Neel Raheja, Sanjeev Bajaj, Anant Goenka, Baba Kalyani, B Tyagarajan and others.

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