Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday chaired a high-level meeting to review oxygen supply across the country and discuss ways to boost its availability as the more deadly second wave of Covid-19 sweeps the country.
PM Modi has called for using innovative ways to provide oxygen support to health facilities. “States should come down heavily on hoarding of oxygen,” the Prime Minister said at today’s review meeting over oxygen supply and availability.
PM Modi also directed officials to ensure oxygen supply to states in a smooth and unhindered manner. “Fix responsibility with local administration in cases of obstruction,” PM Modi said.
Officials briefed PM Modi on efforts undertaken in the last few weeks to improve oxygen supply, news agency ANI quoted Prime Minister’s Office as saying.
“The PM spoke about the need to work rapidly on multiple aspects: increasing production of oxygen, increasing the speed of distribution and using innovative ways to provide oxygen support to health facilities,” it added.
In the meeting that also discussed ways and means to boost oxygen availability amid demands from many states for an increase in its supply, PM Modi was told that the supply of life-saving gas to states has been steadily increasing.
“PM was informed that exercise is being done in coordination with states to identify their demand for O2 & ensure adequate supply. Against present demand from 20 states of 6,785 MT/day of Liquid Medical Oxygen, GoI, from April 21, has allocated 6,822 MT/day to these states,” the PMO added.
‘Availability of liquid medical oxygen increased’
“It was noted that in last few days, availability of Liquid Medical Oxygen has increased by 3,300 MT/day with contributions from private & public steel plants, industries, oxygen manufacturers as well as through prohibition of O2 supply for non-essential industries,” the PMO further added.
“Officers informed PM that they’re working together with states to operationalize sanctioned PSA oxygen plants as soon as possible. PM directed officials to ensure that O2 supply to states happens in a smooth, unhindered manner,” it said.
The statement said railways is being used for rapid and non-stop long-distance transport of tankers. The first rake has reached from Mumbai to Vizag to transport 105 MT of the liquid medical oxygen. Similarly, empty oxygen tankers are also being air-lifted to oxygen suppliers to reduce one-way journey time in oxygen supply.
The prime minister was informed that an elaborate exercise is being done in coordination with states to find their demand for oxygen and ensure adequate supply accordingly, the statement said.
Representatives from the medical community also spoke about the need for judicious use of oxygen and how an audit in some states has decreased oxygen demand without affecting the condition of patients.
The meeting was attended by the Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Home Secretary, Health Secretary and officials from the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Ministry of Road Transport, Pharmaceuticals and NITI Aayog.