The Union’s interior ministry has intervened to alleviate the medical oxygen supply crisis reported by several regions this week, with top officials directly intervening in specific cases in which tankers were restricted from one state to go to another, senior officials told HT.
The problem has been in focus since Tuesday night after some hospitals in Delhi ran out or received fillings with a few minutes, prompting the state government to repeatedly raise the issue. Delhi does not have large-scale manufacturing of its own and has had to rely on Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Utarakhand.
“There were some problems with the [oxygen] lack, but we sort it out. During the day, some plants see some problems, but we are dealing with it, “said Interior Minister Ajay Kumar Bhalla.” Any donation to states must go. ”
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Bhalla said the Center is trying to repeat an order dated September 18, 2020, which said no restrictions will be imposed on oxygen manufacturers and suppliers to limit the supplies only to the hospitals of the state where they are located.
The second wave of the Covid-19 explosion caused a shortage of hospital beds and other crucial supplies such as oxygen and medicines. Oxygen is a critical medical intervention against Covid-19, which causes respiratory distress in some cases. The pandemic has accelerated global demand for it. Oxygen demand has grown to 1.1 million cylinders in low- to middle-income countries alone, according to the World Health Organization.
All previous daily records were broken in India as it reported 315,909 Covid-19 cases on Wednesday. The country has also reported the most one-day infections worldwide ever.
Saket Tiku, head of the entire India Industrial Gases Manufacturers Association, said Bhalla had to intervene in several cases as authorities in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh were the ones who banned free interstate movement of oxygen.
“Air Balance [a manufacturer] reports that their trucks are lined up in Panipat to bring oxygen to Delhi, but a police team has reached out and is not allowing the trucks to move, ”Tiku said.
Another manufacturer, Linde, has also previously sent a similar complaint to a management company in Delhi.
In her message, Linde said a senior drug inspector reached his Faridabad plant with his team on Wednesday and did not allow supplies to go to Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR). It added that they said the supply would go to only Haryana. “We are supplying 70 tpd of Medical Oxygen to all major government and private hospitals in Delhi-NCR which includes all avid hospitals. Looking forward to your support to remove the restriction immediately to avoid death,” Linde’s message said.
Haryana Deputy Prime Minister Dushyant Chautala said he has no information on such developments. But central government officials who have mapped out oxygen needs nationally are worried.
“If people become parishioners on oxygen, how will we succeed,” said a member of an authorized group formed to deal with the situation. The group meets every two hours to assess the situation.
Delhi Deputy Prime Minister Manish Sisodia said in a press conference on Wednesday that it should seek help from the Center twice when supply trucks were stranded in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh between Tuesday and Wednesday. “If we have to continue to chase every truck and ask Center to intervene, then it’s not a very good situation,” he told reporters on Wednesday.