PM Modi chairs high-level meeting amid oxygen crisis, calls on officials to increase production

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 called for using new ways to provide oxygen support to health facilities. “States need to heavily hoard oxygen,” the prime minister said at today’s review meeting on oxygen supply and availability.

PM Modi also directed officials to ensure oxygen supply to states in a smooth and free manner. “Fix liability with local administration in cases of obstruction,” PM Modi said.

Officials have informed Prime Minister Modi of efforts undertaken in recent weeks to improve oxygen supply, news agency ANI quoted the prime minister’s office as saying.

“The prime minister spoke of the need to work quickly on many aspects: increasing oxygen production, increasing the speed of distribution and using innovative ways to provide oxygen support to health facilities,” it added.

At the meeting, which also discussed ways and means to increase oxygen availability amid demands from many states to increase its supply, PM Modi said the supply of life-saving gas to states is constantly growing.

“PM was informed that exercise is being conducted in coordination with states to identify their O2 requirement and ensure adequate supply. Against current requirement of 20 states of 6,785 MT / day of Liquid Medical Oxygen, GoI, as of April 21, has allocated 6,822 MT. / day to these states, “the PMO added.

‘Availability of liquid medical oxygen increased’

“It has been noted that in recent days, availability of Liquid Medical Oxygen has increased by 3,300 MT / day with contributions from private and public steel mills, industries, oxygen manufacturers and also through a ban on O2 supply for non-essential industries,” the PMO further added.

“Officers have informed Prime Minister that they are cooperating with states to operate sanctioned PSA oxygen plants as soon as possible. PM has directed officials to ensure that O2 supply to states takes place in a smooth, free manner,” it said.

The statement said railways are being used for fast and non-stop long-distance transportation of oil tankers. The first rake reached from Mumbai to Vizag to transport 105 MT of the liquid medical oxygen. Similarly, empty oxygen tanks are also aired to oxygen suppliers to reduce one-way travel time in oxygen supply.

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

Representatives of the medical community also spoke about the need for prudent use of oxygen and how a review in some states has decreased the oxygen demand without affecting the condition of patients.

The meeting was attended by the cabinet secretary, chief secretary of prime minister, interior minister, health secretary and officials of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Road Transport, Pharmaceuticals and NITI Aayog.

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