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Home >News >India >Centre working to increase oxygen supplies, says Modi

Centre working to increase oxygen supplies, says Modi

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PM urges CMs to ramp up testing, ensure the vaccination programme does not slow down

NEW DELHI : New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday proposed various measures to ease the availability of oxygen and essential medicines in states, even as growing infections and scarce supplies drive individuals and hospitals to desperation.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday proposed various measures to ease the availability of oxygen and essential medicines in states, even as growing infections and scarce supplies drive individuals and hospitals to desperation.

Addressing chief ministers of 11 states and Union territories with the highest case additions, Modi called for setting up state-level coordination committees to ensure that as soon as the Centre allots oxygen, it can be delivered to hospitals. The prime minister asked states to ensure that no oxygen tanker, headed for whichever state, is stopped or gets stranded.

Addressing chief ministers of 11 states and Union territories with the highest case additions, Modi called for setting up state-level coordination committees to ensure that as soon as the Centre allots oxygen, it can be delivered to hospitals. The prime minister asked states to ensure that no oxygen tanker, headed for whichever state, is stopped or gets stranded.

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Central departments and ministries are working to increase oxygen supplies, and industrial oxygen has been diverted to meet immediate needs, he said.

“The central government is working on all possible options to reduce the travel time and turnaround time of oxygen tankers. For this, the Railways has started Oxygen Express. Empty oxygen tankers are also being transported by the Air Force to reduce one-way travel time," said Modi.

Noting that the virus has entered many tier-2 and tier-3 cities, Modi assured the Centre’s full support to all states in this fight. “The ministry of health is also in touch with the states and is monitoring the situation closely and issuing necessary advice to the states from time to time," the PM said, urging all states to work together and coordinate with each another to fulfil requirements relating to medicines and oxygen.

“Along with upgrading of resources, we have to focus on testing. Widespread testing should be conducted so that people get the facility easily. Our vaccination programme should not slow down in this situation," said Modi, pointing out that India is running the world’s largest vaccination programme and so far, more than 130 million vaccine doses have been provided free of cost to the states.

The campaign to provide free vaccine to all citizens above 45 years as well as healthcare workers and frontline workers will also continue in the same manner, the prime minister said.

“From 1 May, the vaccine is going to be available to all citizens above 18 years of age. We will also need to work in mission mode to get more and more people vaccinated," the prime minister said.

Earlier, NITI Aayog member Dr V.K. Paul made a presentation highlighting the efforts to counter the new surge. He also presented the roadmap for increasing medical facilities and targeted treatment of patients, and briefed about boosting of medical infrastructure, teams and supplies; clinical management; containment; vaccination and community engagement.

During the interaction, chief ministers briefed the prime minister about the steps they have taken in the current wave, and noted that the directions given by the prime minister and the roadmap presented by NITI Aayog would help them plan responses better.

The PM also held a virtual meeting with the country’s leading oxygen manufacturers. He emphasized on utilizing the full potential of the industry to meet the demand of oxygen in the coming days. He noted that there is a need to increase the availability of oxygen cylinders as well as upgrade logistics facilities. He urged the industry to utilize tankers meant to transport other gases for oxygen supply.

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