April 17, 2021 10:11:19 pm
A day after the state recorded its highest ever single-day increase in the number of active Covid-19 cases, the Goa government Saturday decided to ban the export of oxygen cylinders.
The number of active cases in Goa stood at 6,643 on Saturday.
“In view of rising COVID cases in the state of Goa, requirement for oxygen has gone up. Export of oxygen cylinders outside the state therefore been banned with immediate effect. All industrial oxygen requirements will be diverted towards the health services, GMC (Goa Medical College) & Covid Hospitals (sic),” Vishwajit Rane, health minister of Goa, said in a post on social media. He said that necessary directions have been issued to Secretary, Health, to coordinate with the respective collectors to issue an order under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, in public interest.
On Friday, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had appealed to Goans to follow safety protocols and refrain from hosting or attending large, crowded events. Goa has not put any curbs on entry of tourists in the state or restricted the operations of hotels, restaurants and casinos. Sawant, however, said that with lockdowns and night curfews in other states, the number of tourists arriving in Goa by air has dropped by 70 per cent and those by road has halved.
Goa started to feel a shortage of hospital beds in the first week of April when it had 2,471 active Covid-19 cases. Subsequently, Rane said the capacities of various hospitals in the state were being augmented, beds were being added, Covid care centres in the state were being reactivated and two stadia requisitioned to cater to the rising number of Covid-19 cases.
The health minister, on Saturday, said the bed capacities of various hospitals were being enhanced and the ESIC hospital was being converted to a Covid Hospital with ITU and ICU facilities. The ITU and ICU facilities were also being enhanced at the South Goa District Hospital.
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