Terming the prevailing COVID crisis as a war-like situation, Chief Minister of Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday sought help from the Western Command of the Indian Army.
Headquarters of the Western Command of the Indian Army is situated at Chandi Mandir Cantonment in Chandigarh-the joint capital Punjab and Haryana. The Chief Minister has sought assistance of the Army to revive Punjab's old defunct Oxygen plants.
As per the spokesperson of the Punjab government, responding to Punjab Chief Minister's plea for help, the Western Command of the Indian Army extended all possible help, including medical staff and medically trained combatants, to Punjab to meet the exigent shortage in hospital, along with support in reviving the state's old Oxygen plants that are currently lying defunct.
Lt Gen RP Singh, GOC-in-C, Western Command, at a virtual meeting of the Chief Minister with senior Command officials, also offered to provide staff to run the 100-bed COVID facility proposed to be set up in the building loaned to the state government by CSIR for the purpose.
Technical and specialist cover will be provided by the Command Centre, Lt Gen Singh told the Chief Minister during their meeting, adding that 15 trained nurses had already been sent to Patiala to support the civic staff. Further, experts will be sent to visit the defunct Oxygen plants at existing industrial units to assess their status and extend whatever support needed for their restoration.
Though their resources were stressed on account of requirements also from other states, including Delhi, Haryana, and Jammu & Kashmir, the Army officials said they will extend all possible help to Punjab to tackle the situation.
Against demand of 300 tonnes, Punjab gets only 105 tonnes of Oxygen daily
Punjab government informed that Oxygen allocation from Centre currently is at only 105 tonnes as against the demand of 300 tonnes daily. Of the 105 tonnes, the state was actually getting only 85 tonnes as the rest was being diverted to PGI Chandigarh.
The Chief Minister said that the state government was making all efforts to secure medical Oxygen to supplement its depleting stocks. The meeting was informed by Secretary Industries, Alok Shekhar, that Jalandhar and Amritsar had been facing a crisis situation on the Oxygen front for the past few days, which the state had somehow handled through judicious management.
Punjab approaches BSF to provide ICU beds
The Chief Minister later said at another review meeting with top officials of the state government and medical experts that the government was also approaching the Union Home Ministry to provide manpower and ICU beds through the Border Security Force (BSF).
Met with GOC-in-C Western Command & @ADGPI Officials to seek their assistance in our fight against #Covid19. Thank them for their positive response to work closely with the State Government for both treatment of patients & management of logistics of Oxygen supply. ?? pic.twitter.com/ZLgsajeRzU— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) April 26, 2021
Situation of Oxygen supply in Punjab is extremely critical due to rising #Covid19. Request Union Home Minister @AmitShah ji & Union Health Minister @drharshvardhan ji to urgently enhance daily quota & to ensure allotted Liquid Manufacturing Oxygen supplies are released to Punjab.— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) April 26, 2021