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Covid-19: Goyal reviews the availability and supply of Medical Oxygen

There is adequate availability, manufacturing, supply and storage capacity of Medical Oxygen

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Oxygen Supply in Hospital

New Delhi: In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, the Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal today reviewed the Medical Oxygen supply and enhancement of capacity storage in the country. The Officials of the Department of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare informed that as of now, there is no major problem reported in manufacturing, storage, transport and supply of Medical Oxygen. It was mentioned that average monthly consumption of Medical Oxygen was 902 MT/day in April’20 and had gone upto 1512 MT/day by 15th July. There is sufficient stock of over 15 thousand MT, as of now.

It was observed that the overall position of the present production and supply of Medical Oxygen, as compared to the total projection of the requirement by end of this month, is comfortable in all the states. In States, Metros and Districts, where the active cases are large in number, the position of supply and storage is adequate. Similarly, appropriate arrangements have been made for making available Medical Oxygen at remote places. It was highlighted that percentage of total Covid-19 cases on Oxygen including those in ICU, has declined to 4.58% yesterday. Medical Oxygen storage capacity is also being enhanced by almost 10% from 5938 MT, as on 1st March’20

All the major manufacturers of cylinders and cryogenic vessels are now registered on Government e-Marketplace (GeM), the public procurement portal. Manufacturers of Medical Oxygen Generators are also in the process of registering.

The Minister said that the adequate arrangements should be in place for any eventuality or sudden spurt in demand. He directed that special care should be taken to make available the Oxygen supply in those areas where connectivity gets affected at this time of the year, due to adverse weather conditions.

Health

Not believing in act of God, Covid vaccine expected in early 2021: Harsh Vardhan

In his over half-an hour address, Harsh Vardhan lauded the effort of various corona warriors, as he said, “We are fighting this war with the help of lakhs of corona warriors”.

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Harsh Vardhan

New Delhi, Sep 22 : Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan assured the Lok Sabha that the Central government is not just waiting for “act of God” in fight against Covid-19 but also working round-the-clock in the direction to get solution and a vaccine will be available in the beginning of the next year anytime.

The Minister’s assurance came on Monday when he was speaking in the lower House in a late night discussion of the passage of the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which seeks amendment to the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and will replace the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) ordinance, 2020 which was promulgated by the President on April 22.

Harsh Vardhan’s response came in a reply to a Member of Parliament who alleged that the government is waiting for the act of God in fight against the disease which on Monday inched closer to 55 lakh-mark in India with a total of 54,87,580 cases in 235 days since the first case was reported on January 30.

In his over half-an hour address, Harsh Vardhan lauded the effort of various corona warriors, as he said, “We are fighting this war with the help of lakhs of corona warriors”.

Pressing the Bill for its passage in order to provide protection to healthcare service personnel, their living premises as well as their workplaces against any violence during the course of a pandemic, the Minister mentioned how the health workers were attacked in many incidents while their service to the infected Covid patients.

As the Parliament was not in session, the Minister said the government came with an ordinance to protect such attacks on corona warriors, and mentioned that the act is to empower the state governments.

“If any person attacks a corona warrior he will be penalised as per the legal provisions. A special officer will investigate the case and submit a report within a month,” the Minister said.

Fight against corona is a battle of 135 crore people, said Harsh Vardhan, adiding all governments fought with the disease unitedly. He also urged Members of Parliament (MPs) not to have any kind of discrepancies on the issue and support in passing the Bill, which was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Saturday.

The Bill seeks to bring a law that punishes those who attack health workers or doctors who are fighting the coronavirus outbreak or during any situation similar to the current Covid-19 pandemic. The draft legislation provides for up to five years in jail for those who attack doctors and health care personnel.

Penalty ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 2,00,000 can be slapped on any individual who is involved in commission or abetment of such acts of violence. It can also be punishable in the form of an imprisonment for a term of three months to five years.

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Health

Lok Sabha passes two Health Ministry Bills in midnight proceedings

Both the Bills were passed around 12.20 a.m. on Tuesday after a short debate among a few Members of Parliament (MPs) followed by Harsh Vardhan’s concluding remark.

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Parliament

New Delhi, Sep 22 : The Lok Sabha in a midnight proceeding on Tuesday passed Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020, and Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

These Bills were moved for passage after the House passed the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020 that seeks to bring a law that punishes those who attack health workers or doctors who are fighting the coronavirus outbreak or during any situation similar to the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan moved these Bills for passage in the ongoing Monsoon Session of the Lok Sabha which on Monday started at 3 p.m. and ended at 12.24 a.m. on Tuesday — the second consecutive day in a row of this session in a hurry to pass maximum important Bills brought by the Central government.

The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which was passed by the Rajya Sabha on September 18, seeks amendment to the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973. It will replace the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 promulgated by the President on April 24 this year.

Harsh Vardhan later moved the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020 for its passage. The Bill seeks to amend the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970, as passed by Rajya Sabha.

It will replace the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 which was promulgated by the President on April 24 this year.

Both the Bills were passed around 12.20 a.m. on Tuesday after a short debate among a few Members of Parliament (MPs) followed by Harsh Vardhan’s concluding remark.

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Health

Lok Sabha passes the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill by voice vote

Biju Janata Dal MP Bhartruhari Mahtab questioned the Centre’s decision to bring an amendment to the Epidemics Diseases Act, and said: “Why not bring a new Bill in 2020?”

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Lok Sabha

New Delhi, Sep 22 : A bill which proposed protection to frontline workers, including healthcare professionals, was passed on late Monday night proceedings of the Lok Sabha with a voice vote and support from all political parties. The Bill was passed a few minutes before 12 O’clock.

Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Saturday, seeks to bring a law that punishes those who attack health workers or doctors who are fighting the coronavirus outbreak or during any situation similar to the current Covid-19 pandemic.

The Bill seeks amendment to the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. It will replace the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) ordinance, 2020 which was promulgated by the President on April 22 this year in order to provide protection to health care service personnel, their living premises as well as their workplaces against any violence during the course of a pandemic.

The draft legislation provides for up to five years in jail for those who attack doctors and health care personnel. The legislation intends to make sure that there is an attitude of zero tolerance towards violence against people working in the healthcare sector.

The service personnel who will be protected under the new legislation include “public and clinical healthcare service providers such as doctors, nurses, paramedical workers and community health workers; any other persons empowered under the act to take measures to prevent the outbreak of the disease or spread thereof; and any persons declared as such by the state government, by notification in the official gazette.”

Biju Janata Dal MP Bhartruhari Mahtab questioned the Centre’s decision to bring an amendment to the Epidemics Diseases Act, and said: “Why not bring a new Bill in 2020?”

“There is a need to give protection not just to health workers but also to the police,” Mahtab added.

Shiv Sena’s Shrikant Eknath Shinde and JD-U MP Kaushalendra Kumar participated in the debate on the Centre’s Epidemic Diseases Amendment Bill, 2020 and supported the proposed legislation.

Apna Dal leader Anupriya Patel criticised those who attacked the healthcare workers at a time when they were protecting the lives of people during the Covid-19 crisis at a cost of risking their lives.

RLP leader and MP from Nagaur in Rajasthan, Hanuman Beniwal, and Congress leader of the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said this bill should be sent to the Standing Committee and bring comprehensive legislation after proper consideration.

In his concluding remark, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan assured the House that the Central government is not just waiting for “act of God” in fight against Covid-19 but also working round-the-clock in the direction to get solution, and confident that a vaccine will be available to the countrymen in the beginning of the next year anytime.

The Minister’s response came in a reply to an MP who alleged the government of waiting for act of God in fight against the disease which on Monday inched closer to 55 lakh-mark in India with a total of 54,87,580 cases in 235 days since the first case was reported on January 30.

“We are not believing in the act of God. I had told in my speech (in the House) yesterday about the government’s step for (Covid-19) vaccine. We are very confident that the vaccine will be available to the people of our country at the beginning of the new year,” the Minister said.

In his over-half-an hour address, Harsh Vardhan lauded the effort of various corona warriors, saying: “We are fighting this war with the help of lakhs of corona warriors.”

He also praised each mother who sent her son in war against the coronavirus pandemic. “There is not a single incident in which any mother stopped her son in participating in the war against the disease.”

If any damage is done to clinical establishments, quarantine and isolation facilities of patients, mobile medical units or any other property associated with healthcare personnel during a pandemic, penal provisions can be provoked.

Penalties ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 2,00,000 can be slapped on any individual who is involved in commission or abetment of such acts of violence. It can also be punishable in the form of an imprisonment for a term of three months to five years.

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