States should keep medical oxygen demand 'under control', says Piyush Goyal; Congress slams remarks

The statement came amid reports of shortages of oxygen in parts of the country that have been hit hard by the second wave of coronavirus

FP Staff April 19, 2021 11:09:36 IST
States should keep medical oxygen demand 'under control', says Piyush Goyal; Congress slams remarks

Union minister Piyush Goyal. Screenshot from Twitter/@Piyush Goyal

Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday advised state governments to keep the demand for medical oxygen 'under control', amid reports of shortages of oxygen in parts of the country that have been hit hard by the second wave of coronavirus.

Goyal was quoted by ANI as saying, "State governments should keep demand (for medical oxygen) under control. Demand-side management is as important as supply-side management. Containing COVID spread is the responsibility of state governments & they should fulfil this responsibility."

The Union minister further said, "If cases continue to rise unlimitedly, then it will pose a major challenge for the healthcare infrastructure of the country. We are with the state governments but they need to manage the demand and take concrete steps to contain COVID-19 spread."

He also said that wastage of oxygen should be avoided.

In response, Congress leader Srivatsa tweeted —

In recent weeks, supply of oxygen has become a major point of concern, with Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal requesting the Centre to plug the demand-supply gap.

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In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Thackeray had said that medical oxygen requirement in the state is projected to reach 2,000 metric tonnes per day by April-end from the present consumption of 1,200 MT per day.

In response, Goyal had slammed Thackeray, saying that Maharashtra has so far received the highest quantity of oxygen in India and the Centre is in regular touch with state governments to assess their needs.

"Maharashtra is suffering from an inept and corrupt government and the Centre is doing its best for the people. People of Maharashtra are following 'Majha Kutumb, Majhi Javabadari' (my family, my responsibility) dutifully. It is time the CM (chief minister) also follows his duties in the spirit of 'Majha Rajya, Majhi Javabadari' (my state, my responsibility)," he had remarked.

India's total tally of COVID-19 cases crossed 1.50 crore with a record single-day rise of 2,73,810 new coronavirus infections, while the active cases surpassed the 19-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

The total tally of COVID-19 cases mounted to 1,50,61,919 and the death toll increased to 1,78,769 with a record 1,619 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.

With inputs from PTI

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