The State government has advised the hospitals treating COVID-19 patients to migrate to cryogenic liquid oxygen tank/vessels to minimise scope for any shortage of oxygen supply.

The decision comes in the light of reports on black marketing of oxygen cylinders leading to shortage in the market. It was decided to constitute joint teams of officers consisting of Drug Control Administration, task force, director of public health and deputy chief controller of explosives for inspection of hospitals and dealers to assess whether the sale and utilisation of the oxygen cylinders had been in conformity with guidelines.

Prosecution

The teams would initiate prosecution in cases where violation of rules was noticed. Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, who reviewed the situation late on Friday evening, said traders who were holding stock of oxygen cylinders should possess licence from PESO, failing which they would be prosecuted under Explosives Act.

Officials informed the Chief Secretary that the Commissioner’s task force was already in action and two cases had been registered under Drugs & Cosmetics Act, Indian Explosives Act and the Disaster Management Act.

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