NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday reviewed the availability of medical-grade oxygen supply in the country amid the alarming rise of Covid-19 cases.
The meeting comes a day after the government decided to import 50,000 metric ton of oxygen from other countries after first claiming that there is enough production capacity within India to meet the demands.
On Friday, Modi chaired a high-level meeting with officials of various ministries and departments in which the projected use of oxygen during the coming 15 days across 12 high burden states was discussed. These states are Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan.
The Centre has allocated 4,880 MT, 5,619 MT and 6,593 MT to these states for meeting their projected demand as on April 20, April 25, and April 30, respectively.
On Thursday, the Centre had said that there is sufficient production capacity of around 7,127 metric ton of oxygen in the country, and as per need, the surplus oxygen available with the steel plants is also being utilized. On Monday, the medical oxygen consumption in the country was 3,842 MTs, which is 54% of the daily production capacity, the Union Health Ministry had also said.
However, later in the day, it shared that the Ministry of External Affairs has been sounded out to find source nations from where 50,000 MT medical oxygen can be imported.
In the review meeting, it was suggested that the oxygen will be produced as per the capacity of each plant. The PM asked officials to ensure seamless and free movement of tankers carrying oxygen throughout the country.
India added a record 2,17,353 new coronavirus infections in a day taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 1,42,91,917, while active cases surpassed the 15-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.