Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 19
The central government on Saturday reviewed the availability of medical oxygen in 12 top COVID-burdened states of the country with the Commerce Ministry and Cabinet Secretary holding separate virtual meetings.
Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal in a virtual meeting asked the 12 states---Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Chandigarh, Telangana, Kerala, Delhi, Punjab and West Bengal---to analyse district level and health facility level status of oxygen and effectively plan and manage logistical issues related with oxygen availability.
About 80 per cent of the COVID caseload in the country---over 53 lakh cases today---is concentrated in these states and UTs.
Cabinet Secretary Rajeev Gauba also held a virtual meet attended by Union Health Secretary, Secretary, Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, senior officials of the Health Ministry, Ministry of Home Affairs and Chief Secretaries of the 12 State and UTs.
He expressed concern that the case fatality rates of several states are still higher than that of the national average and urged them to analyse mortalities district and hospital wise for identification of critical areas of intervention.
Gauba also exhorted states to ensure optimal utilization of RT-PCR capacity.
He underlined the need for ensuring that no symptomatic negative case (tested by Rapid Antigen Tests) is missed and all such cases are mandatorily administered RT-PCR test. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan presented a detailed status note of COVID-19 on all these states with particular focus on the number of tests being conducted in each state and UT, their positivity rate and their average daily case fatality rate, availability of health infrastructure and their district wise oxygen availability.
Bhushan had earlier said there was no dearth of oxygen availability in India but states needed to issue alerts of stock outs in time to ensure the supplies were not interrupted.
India as of today has 53,08,014 COVID cases, of which 42,08,431 have recovered and 85,619 people have died.
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