FILE PHOTO: A healthcare worker uses an oximeter to check the oxygen level of passengers at a railway station in Mumbai on February 22, 2021
India has enough stock of medical oxygen, but the issue is its transportation from the producing states to high-demand areas which the government is trying to address, the Home Ministry said on Monday.
Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs Piyush Goyal also said the turnaround time of oxygen-carrying tankers was reduced to 1-2 hours from 4-5 days by taking the help of the Indian Air Force transport aircraft which have been ferrying empty tankers.
“We have enough stock of oxygen. The issue is transportation, which we are trying to resolve by active involvement of all stakeholders,” Goyal told a press conference.
Amidst increasing demand for oxygen in the country due to the surging coronavirus cases, he said, “There is absolutely no need to panic for oxygen as we are trying to resolve the issue of oxygen transportation from the producing states to high demand areas.”
He also said the Central government is monitoring the movement of oxygen-carrying tankers on real-time basis through GPS and making them available to hospitals in the shortest possible time.
Since Friday, the Home Ministry has been coordinating efforts to deploy empty oxygen tankers and containers in various filling stations across the country to speed up the distribution of the much-needed medical oxygen in treating COVID-19 patients.
The coronavirus situation continues to be grim in India with 3,52,991 people testing positive and a record 2,812 deaths reported on Monday.
The Central government is trying to source oxygen from different parts of the country and making it available in worst-hit states by running special trains.