Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh yesterday ordered closure of operations of the state’s iron and steel industries to divert oxygen for medical use. He also focused establishing of oxygen control rooms amidst the escalating oxygen crisis in the state.
Considering standard of the situation, the CM said he had already occupied the matter with the Centre, seeking upsurge in oxygen quota immediately. A sudden influx of patients from neighbouring states had put additional load on oxygen necessity of hospitals in the state, he
noted. Commanding closure of industrial operations at the iron and steel plants, Captain Amarinder has also asked for a feasibility report from the Power Department on use of thermal plants for providing oxygen for medical use.
Punjab has witnessed a sharp rise in oxygen demand over the past few days. The demand for oxygen presently stands at 250 MT per day and is further expected to go up to 300 MT in the coming days on account of spiralling Covid cases.
Responding to reports of increase in the price of oxygen by suppliers, he asked the PSIC to converse, negotiate and settle down the pricing with bulk suppliers and notify the Principal Secretary, Medical Education & Research, on the final decision.
In additional step, he ordered the Punjab Health Systems Corporation (PHSC) to procure 100 more oxygen concentrators, counting 50 approved earlier.
It was pointed out that concentrators could support the L2 facilities with present patient load, and also aid increase the number of L2 beds in facilities such as in Tarn Taran and in Gurdaspur where more such beds were required.