Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a high-level meeting to review the acute shortage of oxygen supply faced by hospitals amid a growing number of coronavirus cases as a deadly second wave of Covid-19 sweeps the country.
Officials briefed the Prime Minister on the efforts made in recent weeks to improve oxygen supply, a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.
“The First Minister spoke of the need to work quickly on many fronts: increasing oxygen production, increasing the speed of distribution and using innovative ways to provide oxygen support to health facilities,” he said.
The availability of medical oxygen, he said, has increased by about 3,300 MT per day with contributions from private and public steelworks, industries, oxygen manufacturers as well as by banning the supply of oxygen for non-essential industries.
The Prime Minister was informed how the demand for oxygen from the provinces is steadily increasing due to Covid’s high caseload. Today India saw its highest ever Covid prick with 3.14 lakh infections in a day and 2,104 deaths. This is the fastest rise in cases and deaths that any country has suffered to date.
Officials informed the Prime Minister that they were working with the provinces to implement the 162 approved oxygen plants as soon as possible. Last week, the center was right to place those plants in public health facilities in every province amid a clamor for medical oxygen due to a spike in coronavirus cases.
The First Minister instructed officials to ensure the smooth and uninterrupted delivery of oxygen to different provinces. He spoke about the need to assign responsibility with the local administration in cases of blockages, his office added. The Prime Minister asked the ministries to explore various innovative ways to increase oxygen production and supply.
Representatives from the medical community also spoke about the need to use oxygen wisely and how examination in some states has reduced oxygen demand without affecting patients’ condition.
The Prime Minister also emphasized that the provinces should come down heavily on hoarding.