Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a high-level meeting to examine the supply of oxygen amid the shortage facing hospitals as the deadliest second wave of coronavirus sweeps the country.
Officials informed the prime minister of efforts in recent weeks to improve the oxygen supply, a statement from the prime minister’s office said.
“The PM spoke about the need to work quickly on several aspects: increasing oxygen production, increasing the speed of distribution and using innovative ways to provide oxygen support to healthcare facilities,” he said. .
The availability of medical oxygen, he said, has been increased by around 3,300 MT / day thanks to contributions from private and public steel mills, industries, oxygen manufacturers, as well as the ban on the supply of oxygen for non-essential industries.
The PM was briefed on how the states’ oxygen demand is steadily increasing due to the high number of Covid cases. India today experienced a record peak of Covid with 3.14 lakh infections in one day and 2,104 deaths. It is the fastest increase in cases and deaths that a country has suffered so far.
Officers informed the PM that they are working with states to operationalize the 162 sanctioned oxygen plants as soon as possible. Last week, the center authorized the installation of these plants in public health facilities in all states amid a demand for medical oxygen due to a spike in coronavirus cases.
The PM ordered officials to ensure that the oxygen supply to the various states runs smoothly and unhindered. He spoke of the need to fix responsibility with the local administration in the event of obstruction, his office added. The PM asked ministries to explore various innovative ways to increase oxygen production and supply.
Representatives from the medical community also spoke about the need for judicious use of oxygen and how an audit in some states has reduced oxygen demand without affecting patients’ condition.
The Prime Minister also stressed that states should stoop sharply on hoarding.