In the wake of Oxygen shortage across the country, the Centre in a big decision restricted industrial usage of Oxygen, ensuring that all available and uninterrupted supply is directed across the country for COVID-19 patients. Issuing an order, Union Home Secretary also directed all manufacturing units to maximise their production of liquid oxygen and make it available to the government for use for medical purposes. The MHA has asked for the directions to be implemented across states and UTs without any exemptions.
"The central government has reviewed the oxygen supply situation and has decided that with immediate effect use of liquid oxygen including the existence stock will be allowed for medical purposes only and that all manufacturing units may be allowed to maximise their production of liquid oxygen and make it available to the government for use for medical purposes only," read an order of the MHA.
Yesterday, in a major decision the Centre waived off basic customs duty and health cess on import of oxygen and oxygen-related equipment for three months keeping in mind the shortage of supply across some states. Moreover, basic Customs Duty on import of Coronavirus vaccines to India was also waived off for three months after PM Modi chaired a key meeting. Earlier today, Steel plants in the Public and Private Sector dispatched over 2894 tonnes of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) to the different States and the Union Territories as per their needs.
At the high-level meeting, key decisions of waiving customs duty on oxygen and oxygen related equipment & COVID-19 vaccines were taken. https://t.co/TgorIafqw6— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 24, 2021
The Centre has also begun the crucial 'Oxygen Express' sending trains with liquid oxygen across states to tackle the shortage. These trains have already begun to arrive at Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and others. Delhi, which has demanded a consistent supply of 480 MT oxygen per day is yet to receive its quota since the AAP-led government has not provided tankers for transportation to the Indian Railways, as per reports.
On April 24, India recorded nearly 3.49 lakh fresh cases, which is the highest single-day rise since the start of the pandemic. According to the data provided by the Ministry of Health, over 2,700 people lost their lives in the last 24 hours due to the virus.