Deccan Chronicle

PM takes stock of oxygen, vaccine output to be hiked


As the daily fresh Covid19 cases went over 2.17 lakhs and the death toll reached 1,185, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday chaired a comprehens­ive review meeting to ensure adequate medical grade oxygen supply in the country.

The meeting took place a day after India decided to import 50,000 metric tonnes of medical oxygen to reduce the shortage of supplies. Union minister Prakash Javadekar, meanwhile, tested positive on Friday.

The PM reviewed in detail the current oxygen supply situation and projected use in the coming 15 days across 12 high-burden states — Maharashtr­a, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisga­rh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

The PM was informed that 4,880 MT, 5,619 MT and 6,593 MT have been allocated to these 12 states for meeting their projected demand as on April 20, April 25 and April 30 respective­ly.

The PM urged officials to ensure seamless and free movement of tankers carrying oxygen throughout the country. The government has exempted all inter-state movement of oxygen tankers from registrati­on of permits to enable easier movement.

Cylinder filling plants will also be permitted to operate for 24 hours, with the necessary safeguards. The government is allowing industrial cylinders to be used for medical oxygen after due purging. Similarly, nitrogen and argon tankers will be automatica­lly allowed to be converted to oxygen tankers to overcome the potential shortage of tankers.

The Centre has also decided to double the production of indigenous­lymade Covaxin by MayJune and nearly 10 crore Covaxin doses will be produced per month by September.

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