As several SOS requests for oxygen cylinders and other support for COVID-19 inundate social media, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister insisted that there was no shortage of oxygen at any private or public COVID-19 hospital in the state.
While speaking to editors of different newspapers through a virtual conference, he stated that he had directed officials to take action under the National Security Act and the Gangsters Act against “anti-social elements” involved in “black-marketeering” of medicines.
He has also asked them to "seize the property" of those spreading rumours and trying to "spoil the atmosphere".
“There is no shortage of oxygen at any COVID hospital – be it private or government. The problem is black-marketeering and hoarding, which will be tackled with a heavy hand,” he stated.
He added that an oxygen audit will be conducted in collaboration with IIT Kanpur, IIM Lucknow and IIT BHU for "monitoring of oxygen" and a "system of live-tracking of oxygen demand, supply and distribution" will also be implemented.
He told the journalists that a private hospital had reported a shortage of oxygen two days ago. However, it was found to have sufficient oxygen upon checking. “Due to such people, fear is increasing among the public. Even those who don’t need it, are worried about oxygen cylinders,” Adityanath said.
He also urged people to not take the virus lightly, stating that he, too, was in its "grip"
"It would be a huge mistake to take COVID as normal viral fever. I am also in its grip. I have been following all COVID protocols since April 13 while in isolation," Adityanath stated.
(With inputs from PTI, The Hindu)