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Covid-19: Centre asks states not to hinder supply and transport of medical oxygen

In a letter sent to chief secretaries of all states, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla asked states not to put any restrictions on oxygen manufacturers and suppliers to limit oxygen supplies only to the hospitals of the State in which they are located.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: April 16, 2021 8:39:02 pm
Medical oxygen, Covid-19

With Covid cases rising sharply across the country, the Centre has written to states not to restrict manufacture of Oxygen cylinders and their transport.

In a letter sent to chief secretaries of all states, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has asked states to ensure no restriction is imposed on the movement of medical Oxygen between states and transport authorities are instructed to accordingly allow free inter-state movement of oxygen carrying vehicles. He also asked states not to put any restrictions on oxygen manufacturers and suppliers to limit oxygen supplies only to the hospitals of the State in which they are located.

“There shall be free movement of oxygen carrying vehicles into the cities, without any restriction of timings, while also enabling inter-city supply without restriction,” the letter has said.

“It is emphasised that Medical Oxygen is an essential public health commodity and any impediment in the supplies of Medical Oxygen in the country may critically impact the management of patients suffering from COVID-19 disease in other parts of the country,” the letter has added.

Bhalla said that in last few days, a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases has been observed in the country along with high positivity rate and states have put additional restrictions and curfews to stop the spread. He added that this should not come in the way of supply of oxygen.

“As you are aware, availability of adequate and uninterrupted supply of Medical Oxygen is an important pre-requisite for managing moderate and severe cases of COVID-19. With increasing cases, the medical oxygen supplies will need to keep pace with the requirements of the States,” the letter has said.

“Keeping in view the requisition of Medical Oxygen and to ensure its smooth supplies to concerned agencies, Empowered Group-II, which is mandated for coordinating medical logistics including oxygen, has prepared a supply plan that is required to be followed by all States/UTs and concerned agencies,” the letter has added.

It said the supply plan has to be adhered to by all states and union territories.

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