Doctors.. Image Source: IANS News

Lucknow, April 23 : The Uttar Pradesh government has now made a doctor's prescription mandatory for buying oxygen or refilling cylinders.

Additional chief secretary (information) Navneet Sehgal said, the decision was taken to curb hoarding of oxygen cylinders in homes.

"While we are continuously taking steps to ensure oxygen supply and it will not be possible to meet the rising demand, if people begin hoarding oxygen at home in anticipation of an emergency. Oxygen will now be sold only if one presents a doctor's prescription, even if it's on WhatsApp," he said.

Officials have been deployed to oxygen filling centres to ensure there is no black-marketing.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath has said that police should also be deputed at filling centres.

Sehgal said, 31 hospitals in the state are also setting up an air separator to manufacture oxygen from the air, thus curbing dependence on liquid oxygen supply.

The plant will be operational in two weeks. The centre has allocated 1,500 oxygen concentrators to Uttar Pradesh for distribution in hospitals.

Each concentrator is meant for one patient and will ensure they do not require further intervention.

The chief minister has also ordered to set up a control room to monitor availability of oxygen in the state. The food safety and drug administration department and home department have been directed to monitor the control room.

Industrial units using oxygen for manufacturing have been given the nod to convert the supply for medicinal purpose.

Those factories which manufacture medical oxygen and have been lying shut will also be revived. Private hospitals are also being encouraged to set up their own oxygen plants.

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