Dr. Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals, weighed in on her intervention which paved the way for an oxygen tanker to move out of Haryana. Speaking exclusively to Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on Thursday, she explained that the scale of the current crisis propelled her to seek help on Twitter from top government functionaries. According to her, the present problem lies in the fact that India is facing a shortage of cylinders and vans to transport oxygen. She appealed to the Centre to designate oxygen-carrying vehicles as ambulances so that issues do not arise on the supply side.
Update: The driver has just been allowed inside & hopefully the oxygen will be sent out soon.— Dr. Sangita Reddy (@drsangitareddy) April 22, 2021
Further to my earlier tweet an appeal once again to the Govt to please tag oxygen tank as ambulances & enable quick green corridor movement@PMOIndia @PiyushGoyal @rajnathsingh https://t.co/5kaaPFA9va
Dr. Sangita Reddy remarked, "But the main point that I have to convey is that India does not have a shortage in terms of the production capacity of oxygen. The shortage is in the cylinders and vans to move them. This is a very important aspect. So what I wanted was that all trucks transporting oxygen to be treated as ambulances and given free access because they have been held up at borders. Administrators are making calls to Inox in the middle of the night- saying where is my oxygen."
Belying the notion that there is an artificial shortage of oxygen in the country, the Apollo Hospitals Managing Director said, "In the last crisis that we had, the requirement of oxygen from approximately 2000-3000 MT per day actually doubled. In the second wave, this requirement of oxygen has gone up fourfold and it has gone upward of 7000 MT". Delving into the extent of the second COVID-19 wave, she stressed the need for optimising the transportation of oxygen.
"The surge which has happened now- the rate moving up to 3,00,000 new cases per day- this kind of peaking happened in the US happened over a period of 60 days. In India, it has happened over 14 days. This kind of peaking is unprecedented anywhere in the world. So now what we need to do is to focus on optimizing the transportation of oxygen by getting the best out of our cylinders and containers," Dr. Reddy added.
On this occasion, she conceded that everyone went off the guard after the first wave relented. Moreover, she placed the blame for the surge in cases on the non-appropriate COVID behaviour. Asking the Union government to take bold steps, she proposed, "There are 60,000 nurses waiting to take their final exam. Maybe we can find a way to waive that final exam, give them the certification subject to an exam somewhere in the next 12 months."