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A Covid-19 patient outside LNJP hospital in New Delhi on Thursday. (Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal)

Delhi, UP, Gujarat, Haryana oxygen demand outstrips supply

With four of the states worst hit by Covid battling a critical shortfall between demand and supply of oxygen in their hospitals, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told officials during a high-level meeting Thursday to ramp up production and the Union Home Ministry ordered all states to strictly abide by its distribution plan amid reports of some seizing supplies meant for others.

As the country reported a record 3,14,835 new cases — the highest single-day figure for any country since the pandemic began — and 2,104 deaths in the last 24 hours, figures obtained by The Indian Express show that Delhi, UP, Gujarat and Haryana face severe shortfalls (see chart)  in the supply of oxygen.

Second wave will not affect big reform push, says Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Thursday said the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic will not affect the institutional reforms, including the disinvestment plans outlined in the Budget, although the focus right now was to take steps towards meeting the “immediate requirement of saving lives”.

Speaking at the first of a series of online, agenda-setting debates organised by The Indian Express and Financial Times, the Finance Minister said the situation in 2020 (when a nationwide lockdown was announced) and the situation now are very different. “Micro containment zones would be the way forward (now),” she said.

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