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Dr Harsh Vardhan Dismisses Oxygen Shortage In Delhi; Urges States To Utilise It Rationally

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan also urged states and UTs to pay attention to the rational use of both oxygen and live-saving drug Remdesivir.

Image- ANI/PTI

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan dismissed reports of oxygen shortage in Delhi stating that the Centre had allotted oxygen to the national capital more than the quota that they had asked for. The Health Minister also urged states and UTs to pay attention to the rational use of both Oxygen and live-saving drug Remdesivir revealing that the Government was working to ramp up production of the necessities amid rising cases of Coronavirus. 

"Delhi has been allotted more than the (oxygen) quota they had asked for, and Delhi CM even thanked PM for that yesterday. Now to rationalise the quota in a timely manner & the responsibility to finely plan it lies with the state government," he said. "The Government of India be it Remdesivir or other things is working to increase its production, to stop its black marketing. We have given licenses to over 7 companies to produce it. Even the doctors are saying that it should be used only when required, there is no need to get over-excited about it, it's not a complete solution. Please use medicines and oxygen rationally," he added.

Oxygen shortage amid COVID-19 crisis

Earlier today in a major decision the Centre waived off basic customs duty and health cess on import of oxygen and oxygen-related equipment for three months keeping in mind the shortage of supply across some states. Moreover, basic Customs Duty on import of Coronavirus vaccines to India was also waived off for three months after PM Modi chaired a key meeting. 

This comes after over four hospitals in Delhi moved the HC seeking urgent oxygen supply sharing how they were being forced to discharge COVID-19 patients due to acute shortage of medical oxygen. Meanwhile, the Centre has begun the crucial 'Oxygen Express' sending trains with liquid oxygen across states to tackle the shortage. These trains have already begun to arrive at Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and others. Delhi, which has demanded a consistent supply of 480 MT oxygen per day is yet to receive its quota since the AAP-led government has not provided tankers for transportation to the Indian Railways, as per reports.

India on Saturday crossed a grim landmark as it clocked its highest single-day rise adding 3.46 lakh new cases and 2,624 fatalities, taking the total of COVID-19 infections to 1.66 crores. After crossing more than 3.32 lakh cases earlier, India also became the country with the highest single-day rise in COVID-19 cases globally. The active cases have increased to 25.52 lakh in the country now.

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