Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting today to review the acute shortage of oxygen supplied by hospitals amid a growing number of coronavirus cases during a deadly second wave of Covid-19 sweeps the country.
Officials briefed the prime minister on the efforts undertaken in recent weeks to improve the supply of oxygen, an edition of the prime minister’s office said.
“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 said.
The availability of medical oxygen, according to it, has increased around 3,300 MT / day with contributions from private and public steel mills, industries, oxygen manufacturers and also through a ban on supplying oxygen for non-essential industries.
The prime minister was briefed on how the oxygen demand of the states is constantly growing due to high Covid revenue. India today saw a record Covid sting with 3.14 lakh infections in a day and 2,104 deaths. This is the fastest increase in cases and deaths any country has suffered to date.
Officers informed the prime minister that they are cooperating with the states to operate the 162 sanctioned oxygen plants as soon as possible. Last week, the center ordered the installation of those plants in public health facilities in all states amid noise of medical oxygen due to an increase in coronavirus cases.
The prime minister ordered the officials to ensure that oxygen supply to various states takes place in a smooth, free manner. He spoke of the need to fix liability with the local administration in cases of obstruction, his office added. The ministers were asked by the prime minister to explore various innovative ways to increase oxygen production and supply.
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 prime minister also stressed that states must weigh heavily.