Black marketing of oxygen cylinders: State teams to curb the menace in Telangana

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Published: July 11, 2020 3:54 PM

The meeting decided to form the joint teams and take other measures following complaints of black marketing of oxygen cylinders, leading to a possible shortage in supply to hospitals, an official press release said.

oxygen cylinder, black marketing of oxygen cylinder, Telangana, COVID-19 patient, supply of oxygen cylinders, latest news on coronavirus outbreakThe teams would inspect hospitals and dealers to assess whether sale and utilisation of oxygen cylinders were in conformity with the guidelines and initiate prosecution in case of any violation. (Representational image:IE)

The Telangana government has decided to form joint teams of officials to carry out inspections, among other measures, to check black marketing of oxygen cylinders. Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar held a meeting with officials, including the police, on Friday on supply of oxygen to hospitals.

The meeting decided to form the joint teams and take other measures following complaints of black marketing of oxygen cylinders, leading to a possible shortage in supply to hospitals, an official press release said.

The joint teams would comprise officials from the Drug Control Administration, Task Force of Hyderabad city police, Director of Public Health and Deputy Chief Controller of Explosives.

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The teams would inspect hospitals and dealers to assess whether sale and utilisation of oxygen cylinders were in conformity with the guidelines and initiate prosecution in case of any violation.

It was decided at the meeting to advise all the hospitals treating COVID-19 patients to go in for cryogenic liquid oxygen tanks/vessels to avoid bottlenecks due to usage of cylinders, the release said.

Traders who are holding stock of oxygen cylinders shall possess licence from competent authorities failing which they would also be prosecuted under the Explosives Act, it said.

The Hyderabad Commissioner of Police stated that the Commissioners Task Force had already commenced action and that two cases had already been booked under various laws such as Drugs & Cosmetics Act 1940, IPC, Disaster Management Act and Indian Explosives Act, 1984, according to the release.

Some media reports in the last few days claimedthat panic buying by some people led to shortage in supply of oxygen cylinders in city hospitals. Oxygen cylinders are crucial for (in treatment of) patients with less oxygen levels.

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