PM Modi reviews medical oxygen supply in country as Covid-19 cases surge
In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took a detailed review of the current oxygen supply across 12 ‘high-burden' states.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a “comprehensive review meeting” to ensure adequate supply of medical grade oxygen in the country amid a surge in daily cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement on Friday.
“Inputs from ministries like health, DPIIT (department for promotion of industry and internal trade), steel, road transport etc were also shared with the PM. PM stressed that it is important to ensure synergy across ministries & state governments,” the statement said. “PM Modi also took a detailed review of the current situation of oxygen supply and projected use in the coming 15 days across 12 high burden states (Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan). An overview of the district-level situation in these states was presented to the PM,” it added.
The statement also said that PM Modi was informed that the central government and states were in regular contact, adding that he also received a briefing on the production capacity of the country to meet the rising demand for medical oxygen. “PM suggested increasing oxygen production as per the capacity of each plant. It was discussed that surplus stocks of oxygen supply in steel plants are being offered from medical use,” the PMO statement said.
Prime Minister Modi urged officials to ensure seamless and free movement of tankers carrying oxygen throughout the country. The government, the statement said, has exempted all interstate movement of oxygen tankers from registration of permits to enable easier movement of the vehicles. “The government is allowing Industrial cylinders to be used for medical oxygen after due purging. Similarly, nitrogen and argon tankers will be automatically allowed to be converted to oxygen tankers to overcome the potential shortage of tankers,” it added.
During the review, PM Modi was also briefed on the efforts being made to import medical oxygen. On Thursday, the Empowered Group2 (EG2) ministers chaired a meeting and took several key decisions, including on the installation of oxygen plants, sanctioned under the PM-Cares fund, in 100 hospitals in far-flung areas.
In the last two days, India has seen record new Covid-19 cases, crossing 200,000 mark on each day. The Union ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) said on Friday morning that 217,353 Covid-10 cases were detected in the last 24 hours, the country’s highest single-day rise, taking the infection tally to 14,291,917. There were 1185 related fatalities as well, which have pushed the death toll to 173,123.