NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday reviewed the progress of conversion of existing nitrogen plants to generate oxygen whose requirement has shot up across the country in the ongoing wave of the pandemic.
Modi also took stock of various measures taken to augment human resources for effective management of the COVID-19 situation as well as discussed measures such as incentivising students and pass-outs of medical and nursing courses to join the pandemic duty.
“Decisions may include delaying NEET and incentivizing MBBS pass-outs studying for it to join the Covid-19 duty. The decisions may also include utilising services of final-year MBBS and nursing students,” a government source was quoted as saying by a news agency.
“In order to ramp up oxygen supplies, the government is working on converting nitrogen plants into oxygen plants. Potential industries where current nitrogen plants could be spared are being identified and converted,” the PM tweeted after the review meeting.
India is hit by a devastating wave of Covid infections with the daily new cases crossed the four-lakh mark on Saturday and 3,92,488 new Covid-19 cases were reported on Sunday morning.
The surge in cases has left hospitals overwhelmed, doctors traumatised, and resources like beds, medicines, and oxygen in perilously short supply.
In an earlier review meeting with Modi, institutions like Army had highlighted that they had opened temporary hospitals and their medical staff is also treating civilians wherever they can.
The Centre has identified more than two dozen nitrogen generation plants for the production of medical oxygen.
The process of converting the existing Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) nitrogen plants for the production of oxygen was discussed in the meeting, the PMO said in a statement.
“On deliberation with the industries, so far 14 industries have been identified where conversion of plants is under progress.