The Social Development Committee of Karnali Provincial Assembly has directed the provincial government to immediately address the problem of oxygen shortage in the province amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

A meeting of the committee held yesterday under the chairmanship of the Devi Oli directed the government not to delay in setting up an oxygen plant with a capacity to refill 1,000 cylinders at a time.

'"The committee is concerned about the report that the province hospital in Surkhet refused to admit COVID patients, citing lack of oxygen. Hence, the committee has directed the government to address the issue at the earliest," said Oli. "Besides, the committee instructed the government to ensure the supply of medical supplies essential for COVID-19 response," she added.

The committee also asked the government to ensure uninterrupted power supply to all the health facilities in the province struggling to deal with the surging cases.

The meeting has agreed to intensify hospital monitoring and urged the people to adopt all recommended health protocols against the infection.

It has appealed to non-government offices and the private sector to cooperate with the government in the management of drugs and other medical supplies crucial for the prevention and control of the COVID-19 and to treat infected people.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 17, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.