The Captain Amarinder Singh government in Punjab has sought urgent help from Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and local manufacturers, as it struggles to improve the supply of medical oxygen across hospitals.
The move has come as the state is trying to tackle rising demand for oxygen, crucial for severe Covid patients, amid a worsening public health situation.
Punjab Chief Secretary Alok Shekhar, in a letter to the three states, said that the demand for oxygen in the hospitals of Punjab has increased due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Local vendors and suppliers of liquid oxygen have brought to notice that they are facing shortage of liquid oxygen and this problem is likely to expand in the coming days.
The chief secretary further stated that most of the hospitals and manufacturers/re-filling units/suppliers in Punjab depend on Air Liquide India Pvt Ltd, Panipat, Haryana, for supply of liquid oxygen. "Therefore, you are requested to kindly direct the concerned industrial unit to increase supply of liquid oxygen to the hospitals, so as to reduce the shortage of oxygen in hospitals of the state," he said.
He also requested that a letter of confirmation would be highly appreciated.
Last week, the Union health ministry asked states not to place restrictions on transport or supplies of medical oxygen after the Madhya Pradesh government claimed Maharashtra was doing this and at least three other states -- Punjab, Karnataka and Telangana -- reported problems in getting regular supplies.