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UP Health Minister on COVID: Ramping up oxygen availability; have enough stock for second vaccine doses

Updated : April 26, 2021 03:59:29 IST

Uttar Pradesh (UP) continues to report a surge in COVID-19 cases. The state has seen the country's third-highest number of casualties on Sunday, after Maharashtra and Delhi, with 206 people succumbing to the infection.

The state government has said that there is no shortage of medical oxygen in any of the private or government-run hospitals.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, UP health minister Jai Pratap Singh said that they are trying to ramp up oxygen availability over the next few days. However, he said that the state continues to face a shortage of Remdesivir.

According to Singh, people returning for Holi and Panchayat Elections have led to the surge in cases. However, he said that the state is prepared and is setting up large quarantine centres in each district.

“We have nothing to worry about Kumbh Mela. It is more of the population from Uttarakhand and people around there. From UP very few people went and came back and that did not affect at all. What affected us is, people working in Maharashtra, Punjab, and Delhi started coming back for Holi, rabi crop cutting, and Panchayat Elections which are going on right now."

"They have all stayed back in large numbers and they are the ones who came with a large amount of infection through trains, buses, and that is what we are worried about,” he said.

“As we did last year, we are setting up big quarantine centres in each and every district, identifying all the people who come from outside states. We have made a small committee, which we had done last time also; it is called the Nigrani Samiti at the village level where we have a group of people who will ensure and let the local administrator know that so and so family has just come back from outside."

"Then we send our medical team from the closes PHC or CHC, they check the family members there and do an antigen test and find anybody which is positive and shift the entire family to another centre,” he explained.

He further added that the state has enough stock for a second shot for those who fall under 45-plus age group.

They have also written to Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech for supplies for the 18-45 age group.

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