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Haryana ministers to oversee COVID-19 measures; Congress raises issue of blackmarketing of medicines

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Chandigarh, May 01: Haryana ministers have been assigned the responsibility of coordinating and monitoring the COVID-19 management measures in various districts. Also, the state government has deputed 22 IAS officers as in-charge of the districts to monitor COVID-19 preparedness.

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The ministers will monitor measures with regard to health infrastructure and availability of medicines in districts. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar will oversee the arrangements in Gurugram, Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant in Jind, Home Minister Anil Vij in Ambala and Panipat, according to a government statement.

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Haryana Vidhan Sabha Speaker Gian Chand Gupta will supervise the arrangements in Panchkula, Education Minister in Karnal and Yamunanagar, Transport Minister Mool Chand Sharma in Faridabad, Power Minister Ranjit Singh in Sirsa and Fatehabad and Agriculture Minister Jai Prakash Dalal in Bhiwani and Charkhi Dadri.

Similarly, other ministers were also assigned duties in the remaining districts. The IAS officers will review the availability of isolation beds, oxygen support beds, ICU beds, ventilators, life-saving drugs and consumables oxygen reserve etc. in both government and private health facilities. The officers will also ensure enforcement of COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.

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Five IAS and three IPS officers having MBBS degrees have also been deputed for COVID-19 related duties, said the statement. Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij said the state and district units of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) will cooperate in the treatment of COVID-19 patients in the state.

"We have to work jointly to overcome this national disaster," he said at a meeting through video-conferencing. The Director General of Police has been instructed to increase security in all hospitals, the minister said. Vij said that at present, medicines, oxygen and other facilities are being made available in the state as per the requirements and stressed that the state government doesn't want any citizen of the state to lose his life due to their unavailability.

He said the government has succeeded in increasing the supply of oxygen from 162 metric tonnes to 257 MT.

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Additional Chief Secretary, Health Rajeev Arora said a three-member committee has been constituted for allotment of Tocilizumab medication. The Tocilizumab and Remdesivir medicines will be made available free of cost in government hospitals and at MRP in private hospitals.

Also, the supply of oxygen in the hospitals of the state is constantly improving, he said. Arora said the suggestions given by IMA will be implemented soon. Meanwhile, the Haryana Congress has expressed concern over the alleged black marketing of medicines and "shortage" of oxygen in the state.

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