All interstate movement of oxygen tankers have been exempted from registration of permits to enable easier movement

Amid a record spike in Covid-19 cases in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday undertook a comprehensive review of the oxygen availability to ensure an adequate supply of medical grade oxygen across the country.

The Prime Minister also reviewed the projected use in the coming 15 days across 12 high burden states, including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

According to an official statement, PM Modi was informed that the Centre and States are in regular contact and estimates for projected demand have been shared with states as on April, 20, April 25, and April 30. Accordingly, 4,880 MT, 5,619 MT and 6,593 MT have been allocated to these 12 states for meeting their projected demand. He was also briefed about production capacity in the country to meet the rising demand.

PM Modi suggested increasing oxygen production as per the capacity of each plant. It was discussed that surplus stocks of oxygen supply in steel plants are being offered from medical use.

The Prime Minister also urged officials to ensure seamless and free movement of tankers carrying oxygen throughout the country. The Government has exempted all interstate movement of oxygen tankers from registration of permits to enable easier movement.

PM Modi was conveyed that States and transporters have been asked to ensure tankers move round the clock with drivers working in shifts to ensure faster turnaround and adequate capacity to meet the surge in demand.

Cylinder filling plants will also be permitted 24 hour working with 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.

Officers also briefed the Prime Minister about the efforts being made to import medical grade oxygen.

Meanwhile, India continues to see a spike in the active cases. More than 2.34 lakh cases have been reported in the last 24 hours, taking the total active cases to 16,79, 740 in the country.

In the last 24 hours, India has reported 1341 deaths, which is the highest number since the pandemic broke in the country.