Monday, June, 21,2021

O2 shortage in Guj, govt claims otherwise

Ahmedabad: Despite multiple submissions and statements made by the government in the Gujarat High Court about sufficient availability of oxygen for COVID-19 patients in the state, according to MLAs of various districts, the ground reality is starkly different.

First India spoke to a few MLAs to gain an insight into the on-ground situation of the pandemic crisis. It discovered that there was not only scarcity of adequate oxygen but other basic amenities needed to combat COVID-19, such as medicines and vaccines.

Lamenting about lack of oxygen supply, Jam Khambhaliya Congress MLA Vikram Madam told First India, “We need 50 ton of oxygen and have been receiving 45 ton.

 Now, there has been further cut down on our oxygen supply and the number has dropped to 40 ton in the past two days. If there is a scarcity of food then, people do not die immediately, but lack of oxygen in people on their deathbeds will lead to their deaths.

If the government wants to save people then it must announce a lockdown. Let them be in power, but people should live,” said Madam.

Bordering Ahmedabad, the district of Kheda is also facing acute shortage of oxygen. Mahudha Congress MLA Indrajitsinh Parmar even asked for help from First India to remedy the situation. “We have to travel nearly 250 km from Kheda to Bhavnagar in order to secure oxygen stock,” informed Parmar.  

He added, “There were oxygen plants in the district but they are not operational due to scarcity of the liquid. We have inquired at all nearby areas even in Vadodara and Vatva (Ahmedabad) industrial areas, but to no avail. Most of the queries we receive here are for oxygen supply and we are unable to provide it.”  

Condemning the state government’s actions amid the crisis, Bhiloda MLA Anil Joshiyara asserted, “It seems that the government wants people to die. They do not have any proper channels for solution to the crisis and hence are announcing different plans and programmes.

We need oxygen, beds, medicines and medical personnel urgently. What the district collectors and other officers are promising, they are managing to come through.

But how long can this go on? I am witnessing deaths of people daily and the government is not concerned for the rural areas.”

Echoing a similar sentiment, Junagadh MLA Bhikhabhai Joshi said, “The (Junagadh) district has a demand of 25 ton of oxygen and has received only 18 ton. I have never seen so many deaths in my life.

I feel hopeless. The government is not providing us with necessary things. There is no testing, without which, the infection is spreading rapidly.

When people reach hospitals (for treatment), there are no beds available, and if someone is hospitalized then, there are no medicines and oxygen.” 

  • Gujarat High Court
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