New Delhi: There is no shortage of oxygen in any private or public COVID hospital in Uttar Pradesh, said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath amid a raging pandemic that has claimed nearly 2 lakh lives nationwide. CM Adityanath said the state government will conduct an audit of the life-saving gas in collaboration with various institutes.Also Read - Covid or no COVID, Work From Home Policy Stays on Table For Several Companies | Full List

Speaking during a virtual interaction with editors of different newspapers, Adityanath urged people not to let their guard down against coronavirus, he said it will be a huge mistake to take it as normal viral fever. Also Read - Noida Metro Records Highest Single-Day Ridership Of 33,352 Passengers Post Covid Outbreak

“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 oxygen. The system of live tracking of oxygen demand, supply and distribution will be implemented,” the chief minister said. Also Read - India Reports First Case Of Omicron Subvariant BA.4 in Hyderabad

He acknowledged that there were some initial problems in increasing the number of hospital beds in the state but they were quickly overcome. “We have made arrangements for oxygen plants in government institutions. There was a lack of this system in private institutions. Work is on to set up 31 new oxygen plants including 18 plants based on DRDO’s latest technology,” he said.

“Every infected patient does not need oxygen, cooperation is expected from the media in increasing awareness about this,” he added.

Adityanath furthered, “It would be a huge mistake to take corona as normal viral fever. I am also in its grip. I have been following all COVID protocols since April 13 while in isolation.”

The chief minister said that it is important to keep UP’s large population and demographic diversity in mind when reviewing the state’s situation. The number of infections in this COVID-19 wave is about 30 times more than last time, he said, asserting that his government’s preparation is better than before.

The chief minister also clarified that there is no shortage of drugs like Remdesivir in Uttar Pradesh. When the demand increased, a state aircraft was sent to Ahmedabad and the drug was procured directly from the pharma company. Again, even this medicine is not required by all patients, he said.

Uttar Pradesh is one of the first states to announce ‘free vaccination for all’. Nearly 8,000 centres have been set up where COVID-19 vaccines will be administered free of cost to all people above the age of 18 from May 1, the CM said.

With PTI inputs