Oxygen cylinder status: BMC urged to hold review meet with FDA

Political leaders of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has written to the state government, civic administration, district collector and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urging the authorities to hold a collective review meeting of the status of oxygen cylinders in Mumbai.

This comes two days after eleven deaths were reported at two private hospitals in Nalasopara in Palghar district. While the kin of the deceased had alleged that lack of oxygen cylinders led to the death of the patients, officials of the Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC) said that all deaths were not due to oxygen shortage.

On Wednesday, Vinod Mishra, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporator and group leader of the party in the BMC, has written to the authorities and guardian minister of Mumbai (city) Aslam Shaikh, demanding an immediate intervention in status of oxygen cylinders in Mumbai.

Mishra has claimed that at present, there is a short supply of oxygen beds in Mumbai and considering that cases are rising at such an alarming rate, preemptive measures are needed to be taken at the earliest.

"The Nalasopara incident is an eye-opener and before anything of that sort happens in Mumbai, we have to stock up enough oxygen cylinders as cases have started rising," Mishra told FPJ.

According to data presented by Mishra, in 11 covid care hospitality and jumbo centres at Malad, which comes under Mishra's jurisdiction, there is a shortage of oxygen cylinders by 15-20 percent in each facility.

"The capacity in BMC hospitals is on the verge of getting exhausted and there is almost no stock left in private hospitals, this is alarming," he added.

Meanwhile, a source close to Shaikh confirmed that the minister has taken cognizance of the issue and will call up a meeting soon.

"The minister will call up a meeting soon and will jointly operate with all the agencies involved, towards solving this issue," said the source.

A senior civic official however said that BMC is working towards increasing its bed capacity.

"We have already started construction of new jumbo facilities which will have additional oxygen bed facilities," said the official.

"The thing is this is a pandemic and cases have started rapidly, we are also working accordingly to meet every requirement," he added.

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