As India battles with the second wave of the pandemic, the healthcare system in the country has come under intense pressure with hospitals across the country reporting a shortage of medical oxygen. In view of the acute shortage of the life-saving gas, the Centre has taken steps to ensure availability of medical oxygen to states and the Union Territories.
With states grappling with a shortage of medical oxygen, and the families of Covid positive patients forced to run from pillar to post trying to procure supply of oxygen, the government has said that efforts are being made to enhance production of medical oxygen and transport them to the hospitals as soon as possible.
The Centre has deployed oxygen tankers to states that have been hard-hit by Covid-19 and are currently overwhelmed with patients in need of the life-saving gas.
To ensure safe transportation of oxygen tankers, a GPS-based real-time tracking system of oxygen tankers has been developed. Additionally, states and Union Territories have been asked to ensure smooth transportation by giving protection and providing a green corridor for safe transit of oxygen tankers.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways have tagged the oxygen tankers with a GPS which can provide real-time information on the tankers and track whether they are moving, stationary, making an unauthorized stop, or are getting diverted from planned route.
At a routine briefing on steps taken by the government to battle the Covid-19 crisis, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Piyush Goyal said that multiple “virtual groups” of officers from the Centre and states are monitoring every aspect of oxygen production, transport, and distribution in the country. Additionally, a “virtual control room” is also working round-the-clock to resolve the issues immediately.
Use Oxygen Judiciously
Piyush Goyal appealed to the people to not panic about the oxygen shortage and said that “Oxygen is available in adequate quantity in the country and efforts are being made to transport it to hospitals in the shortest possible time.”
He also asked the hospitals across the country to ensure judicious use of oxygen as per the guidelines issued by the health ministry. India Today