Karimnagar: Pressing a panic button, Health Minister Eatala Rajender on Wednesday said there was every possibility of Telangana facing oxygen shortage if patient rush in hospitals continue.

The minister pointed out that instead of allocating oxygen from nearby steel plants including Visakhapatnam Steel Plant and Ballari Steel Plant; the Centre allocated Rourkela Steel Plant in Odisha to Telangana State.

"Since it is 1,700 km away from Telangana, it takes seven days for oxygen tankers to reach Hyderabad," he said.

Rajender said he had brought the issue to the notice of Union Health Minister Harshavardhan and requested him to allocate a nearby steel plant. "We are awaiting a reply from the Centre," he said.

He said Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, Municipal Administration Minister KT Rama Rao are constantly monitoring the situation, but there is a possibility of the State facing oxygen shortage if the current situation continued.

Rajender said patients from adjacent Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Chhattisgarh also visit Hyderabad for treatment. "Hence, oxygen shortage can crop up if the current situation continues," he said.

The minister appealed to hospital staff to utilize oxygen judiciously and not provide it on demand from patients. "It should be provided only to patients who genuinely require it since it can't be purchased immediately," he advised.

Rajender said there was no shortage of Remdesivir, and that they have adequate stock of the injection available in all the government hospitals. "We are taking all possible measures to check black-marketing of injections. We have procured three lakh doses of Remdesiver well in advance," he said.

He said so far, Covid has been confined to towns only and it has not been entered into rural areas.

The minister urged sarpanches and governing bodies to take steps and prevent the virus from entering villages. He also advised the people to take all precautionary measures to beat the virus,

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