Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath asked people not to let their guard down. (File)
Asserting that there is no shortage of oxygen in any private or public COVID-19 hospital in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday said the state government will conduct an audit of the life-saving gas in collaboration with various institutes.
Urging people not to let their guard down against coronavirus, he said it will be a huge mistake to take it as normal viral fever.
Mr Adityanath was speaking during a virtual interaction with editors of different newspapers.
"There is no shortage of oxygen in any COVID hospital, be it private or government. The problem is black marketing and hoarding, which will be tackled with a heavy hand. We are going to conduct an oxygen audit in collaboration with IIT Kanpur, IIM Lucknow and IIT BHU for proper monitoring of oxygen. The system of live tracking of oxygen demand, supply and distribution will be implemented," the chief minister said.
Mr Adityanath also said that oxygen is not in short supply provided only the needy use it.
"Every infected patient does not need oxygen, cooperation is expected from the media in increasing awareness about this," he said.
He acknowledged that there were some initial problems in increasing the number of hospital beds in the state but they were quickly overcome.
Mr Adityanath said: "It would be a huge mistake to take corona as normal viral fever. I am also in its grip. I have been following all COVID protocols since April 13 while in isolation."
While reviewing the situation in Uttar Pradesh, its large population and demographic diversity should be kept in mind, he said.
The number of infections in this COVID-19 wave is about 30 times more than last time, he added.
The chief minister claimed that the state government's preparation is better than before.
"We have made arrangements for oxygen plants in government institutions. There was a lack of this system in private institutions.
Work is on to set up 31 new oxygen plants including 18 plants based on DRDO''s latest technology," he said.
The chief minister asserted that there is no shortage of drugs like Remdesivir in Uttar Pradesh.
When the demand increased, a state aircraft was sent to Ahmedabad and the drug was procured directly from the pharma company. Again, even this medicine is not required by all patients, he said.
Adityanath said Uttar Pradesh is the first state to go for ''free vaccination for all''.
Nearly 8,000 centres have been set up where COVID-19 vaccines will be administered free of cost to all people above the age of 18 from May 1, he said.