NGOs oppose move to stop oxygen cylinder allotment

A group of NGOs has urged the State government to reconsider its order of stopping cylinder allotment to NGOs that were providing them to COVID-19 patients in home isolation or those in COVID care centres.

NGO members Shubham Shelke, Surendra Angolkar, Santosh Dharekar, Shahnawaz Ali, Syed Amzad and others told journalists that the government’s move was anti-people and had to be reversed.

“We have strong objections to the State government’s decision to withdraw oxygen cylinder allotment to NGOs. The government has withdrawn hundreds of cylinders given to NGOs who are fighting to save lives. On Saturday, hundreds of cylinders that were sent for refilling were returned empty,” Mr. Shelke said.

He estimated that the NGOs were circulating over 500 cylinders and had saved several more lives. “No NGO is collecting any money from the beneficiaries. They are raising funds from the public to help the sick,’’ he said.

“The government is not admitting enough patients in government hospitals and the NGOs are sharing the burden. If the government were to admit all the COVID-19 patients in the district government facilities or even COVID care centres, we will stop helping patients at home or those in the care centres,’’ Mr. Shelke said.

He said that despite repeated requests, the Belagavi Institute of Medical Sciences was not admitting additional patients.

The State government has insulted NGOs and cast aspersions on their motives. “These are unfounded. No NGO is here for publicity or for political reasons. We are here to help. The government should let us join the fight against the epidemic,” he said. He warned that such unscientific moves could lead to even more deaths in the coming days.

He suspected that this move was a ploy by government doctors to shift patients to private hospitals. The State government should see through such conspiracies, he said .

He said that Saif Memon, a doctor based in London who is providing tele-medicine services to COVID-19 patients free, has written to the government asking it to reverse this move.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 3:37:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/ngos-oppose-move-to-stop-oxygen-cylinder-allotment/article34521339.ece

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