Maharashtra cannot afford to rely on others for medical oxygen in the present COVID-19 situation and priority must be given to produce 3,000 metric tons of the vital gas per day in the state itself, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Tuesday.
He was speaking after commissioning online an oxygen generation plant and inaugurating an RT-PCR laboratory in Saibaba General Hospital in Shirdi in Ahmednagar, some 240 kilometres from Mumbai.
An official release informed that Thackeray praised Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust for setting up these facilities as it would strengthen his government’s efforts to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak. He said the SSST was following Saibaba’s teachings on humanity and helping the poor during this hour of crisis.
The second wave of infections appears to be ebbing but the state must be prepared with health infrastructure as experts have predicted a third wave, the CM said. The second wave was a strong one and patients needed oxygen on a large-scale due to which the state government was encouraging the setting up of oxygen generation plants, he added.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, state Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, Ahmednagar Guardian Minister Hasan Mushrif, Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope and others took part in the ceremony via video conferencing, the statement said.