Meanwhile, prices of oxygen cylinders in many parts of the country have more than doubled.(PTI)
Meanwhile, prices of oxygen cylinders in many parts of the country have more than doubled.(PTI)

Ensure no restriction in supply of oxygen for Covid-19 patients: MHA to states

Union home affairs ministry issued an order asking states and Union territories to make sure that there are no restrictions on the movement of vehicles carrying medical oxygen between states.
By | Written by Avik Roy, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON APR 22, 2021 03:32 PM IST

The Centre on Thursday said there will be no restriction on the movement of medical oxygen and stressed that the supply cannot be limited to any particular state.

"No restrictions shall be imposed on oxygen manufacturers and suppliers to limit the oxygen supplies only to hospitals of the state or Union territory in which they are located," the order read.

Earlier in the day, some hospitals in Delhi moved the high court, pleading the replenishment of oxygen so that they can continue providing care to coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients.

The order issued by the ministry of home affairs also instructed that no authority shall attach the oxygen-carrying vehicles passing through any district for making supplies specific to any particular district.

The government also banned the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes till further orders are issued. "Supply of oxygen for industrial purposes, except those exempted by the government, is prohibited with effect from 22nd April, 2021, and till further orders," it said.

The order highlighted that medical oxygen is an essential public health commodity and any impediment in its supplies has the potential to critically impact the management of patients suffering from coronavirus disease in other parts of the country.

The order came soon after the Supreme Court took a suo motu cognisance of the present Covid-19 situation of the country, including oxygen and essential drugs supply, and asked the Centre to present a national plan on Covid-19 management.

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The Centre announced on Wednesday evening that it was increasing the quota of oxygen in eight states, including Delhi, in view of the sudden spike in demand due to an exponential rise in the number of Covid-19 patients admitted in hospitals.

As India saw 314,835 new cases of the coronavirus disease and 2,104 fatalities in the last 24 hours, the highest spike in the world on a single day, the oxygen crisis precipitated by the second wave appeared to intensify with complaints of shortage from several states.

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