Punjab orders closure of iron and steel industries to divert oxygen for medical use
New Delhi, Apr 24: Amid the escalating oxygen crisis, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday ordered the shutdown of operations in the state's iron and steel industries to divert oxygen for medical use in the state. He also decided to establish Oxygen Control Rooms at the state and district levels.
Ordering closure of industrial operations at the iron and steel plants, the Chief Minister said the state government will convey its decision to the Centre.
The demand for oxygen currently stands at 250 metric tonnes (MT) per day and is expected to go up to 300 MT in the coming days on account of the spiralling Covid cases.
Six patients died at a private hospital allegedly due to a shortage of oxygen, prompting Punjab authorities to order a probe into the incident.
The CM also directed the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Amritsar to initiate a thorough investigation into the tragic incident at the Amritsar hospital.
The DC has set up a two-member committee, comprising a PCS officer, Dr Rajat Oberoi who is also in-charge of the death analysis committee, and a civil surgeon from Amritsar, to probe the matter, an official spokesperson said.
DC told reporters that oxygen was being supplied to private hospitals without any prejudice and that the government hospital here was also running short of oxygen supply on Friday night.
The DC said private hospitals had been told not to admit patients if they do not have oxygen and they should refer patients to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital.