As India grapples with a shortage of oxygen for medical use amid the surge of COVID-19 cases in the country, the Centre on Sunday, 25 April issued directives to the states and union territories to stop the use of liquid oxygen for non-medical purposes.
In a statement, the Centre on Sunday directed “the State/Union Territory governments to ensure that use of liquid oxygen is not allowed for any non-medical purpose and that all manufacturing units may maximise their production of liquid oxygen and make it available to the Government for use for medical purposes only, with immediate effect and until further orders.”
The Centre further ordered that “all stocks of liquid oxygen, should also be made available to the Government for use for medical purposes,” and that “no exception is allowed to any industry with regard to the use of liquid oxygen.”
The directive by the Centre comes amid an acute shortage of oxygen supply across the country, with several hospitals in states and union territories issuing several SOS messages.
The order from the Centre comes amid a slew of measures being taken by the Centre to meet the demands, with PM Modi pushing for “oxygen plants in all districts” on Sunday.
The Centre on Sunday gave in-principle approval for the allocation of budget from the PM CARES Fund for installation of 551 dedicated Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) medical oxygen generation plants at public health facilities in the country, a move that Prime Minister Narendra Modi called “important”.
“Oxygen plants in every district to ensure adequate oxygen availability. An important decision that will boost oxygen availability to hospitals and help people across the nation,” he tweeted.