PM Modi is chairing a high-level meeting in the midst of an oxygen crisis, asking officials to increase productivity

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday chaired a high-level meeting to review nationwide oxygen supply and discuss ways to boost its availability as the more deadly second wave of Covid-19 sweeps the country.

PM Modi has called for innovative ways to provide oxygen support to health facilities. “States should come down heavily on oxygen hoarding,” the Prime Minister said at today’s review meeting about oxygen supply and availability.

PM Modi also directed officials to ensure a smooth and unobstructed supply of oxygen to states. “Repair responsibility with local administration in cases of blockage,” said PM Modi.

Officials briefed PM Modi on efforts made in recent weeks to improve oxygen supply, news agency said ANI the Prime Minister’s Office quoted as saying.

“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 added.

At the meeting that also discussed ways and means to boost the availability of oxygen in the midst of calls from many provinces 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 conjunction with states to identify their demand for O2 and ensure adequate supply. Against current demand from 20 provinces of 6,785 MT / day of Liquid Medical Oxygen, GoI, as of April 21 , has allocated 6,822 MT / day to these provinces, ”the PMO added.

‘Increased availability of liquid medical oxygen’

“It has been noted that over the past few days, the availability of Liquid Medical Oxygen has increased by 3,300 MT / day with contributions from private and public steelworks, industries, oxygen manufacturers as well as by banning O2 supply for non-essential industries,” the PMO further added.

“PM officials informed that they are working in conjunction with states to implement approved PSA oxygen works as soon as possible. PM instructed officials to ensure smooth and unobstructed supply of O2 to states,” he said.

The statement said railways were used for fast and non-stop transportation of tankers. The first rake has arrived from Mumbai to Vizag to carry 105 MT of liquid medical oxygen. Similarly, empty oxygen tankers are also flown from the air to oxygen suppliers to reduce one-way travel time in the oxygen supply.

The prime minister was informed that an elaborate exercise was being conducted in conjunction with states to find their oxygen demand and ensure adequate supply accordingly, the statement said.

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 meeting was attended by the Cabinet Secretary, PM First Secretary, Home Secretary, Health Secretary and officials from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Road Transport, Pharmaceuticals and NITI Aayog.

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