The second wave of COVID-19 has left the nation of 1.3 billion people in panic. Amid reports of shortage of oxygen, ICU beds, and treatment drugs, India is faced with another major challenge, which has drawn criticism towards the central and state governments. Uttar Pradesh is among the worst-hit states by the pandemic and reports of COVID victims struggling to find hospitals with steady oxygen supply are on rise. But the UP CM asserted that there's no shortage of oxygen supply in any COVID-19 hospitals, lashing out at "rumour-mongers."
Calling oxygen shortage reports mere rumours, Yogi Adityanath has asked officials to take action against those who spread rumours under the National Security Act and seize their properties, the Hindu reported. In an interaction with select media journalists, Adityanath acknowledged the recent incident of a private hospital, which had reported shortage of oxygen two days ago, and said that the hospital had sufficient oxygen.
"Due to such people, fear is increasing among the public. Even those who don't need it, are worried about oxygen cylinders," Adityanath was quoted as saying.
According to reports, all districts have been given orders to lodge FIRs and take strict action against such people.
"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 medical oxygen. The system of live tracking of oxygen demand, supply and distribution will be implemented," Adityanath told the reporters.
Priyanka Gandhi hits back
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Sunday dared Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister to lodge a case against her as she highlighted the oxygen shortage in the state.
"Mukhyamantriji (Chief Minister), whole UP is under oxygen emergency and if you want to lodge case against me, seize my property, please go ahead. But for God's sake, understand the gravity of the situation and help to save lives of the people," she said in a tweet in Hindi, attaching a media report of Adityanath directing seizure of property of those spreading rumours of oxygen shortage.