Several states in deep oxygen crisis
Millennium Post Delhi|April 22, 2021
MP, Bihar, Assam, Chhattisgarh announce free vaccination for all above 18

NEW DELHI: As India saw another record high of 2,95,041 new COVID cases and 2023 deaths, the oxygen crisis precipitated by the second wave which has lefttens of thousands hospitalised appeared to intensify with complaints of shortage from several states, including Maharashtra where tragedy struck when 24 patients on ventilator support suffocated to death due to leakage in an oxygen storage tank.

On the vaccination front, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Assam were the latest to announce free COVID vaccination for all aged above 18 years, after Uttar Pradesh and Assam made a similar decision, and officials presented data to assert that the vaccines reduce the risk of infection and prevent death and severe infection.

At a press conference, NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr V K Paul appealed to the states, hospitals and nursing homes to ensure rational use of oxygen as it was life-saving drug for the coronavirus infected patients.

Noting that 7,500 MT of oxygen was being produced in the country per day and 6,600 MT is being allocated to states for medical purposes, the Centre said the Union government and state governments need to work together and respond promptly to the challenges posed by the pandemic.

The Centre's response came as Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Maharashtra indulged in a blame game and squabbled over oxygen distribution while demanding an increase in their quota.

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