In a big decision, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sanctioned the procurement of 1 Lakh Portable Oxygen Concentrators from the PM Cares Fund after chairing a high-level review meeting on Wednesday. In addition to this, PM Modi also sanctioned 500 new Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Oxygen plants through PM-CARES, days after the Cabinet approved 713 PSA plants.
As per an official release of the Centre, the decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by PM Modi to discuss the measures needed to improve Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) Supply for COVID management. After the meeting, PM Modi instructed for the Oxygen Concentrators to be procured at the earliest and provided to states buckling under a rise of COVID-19 cases.
"Establishing PSA plants and procurement of portable oxygen concentrators will greatly augment the supply of oxygen near the demand clusters, thereby addressing the current logistical challenges in transporting oxygen from plants to hospitals," read the official release.
"The PSA plants will augment the supply of Liquid Medical Oxygen at hospitals in district headquarters and Tier 2 cities. These 500 PSA plants will be established with transfer of the indigenous technology developed by DRDO and CSIR to the domestic manufacturers," it added.
Earlier today, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) announced that it was setting up 500 Medical Oxygen Plants through PM CARES Fund amid the deadly second wave of COVID-19. The DRDO stated that through the initiative, hospitals will be able to generate on-site medical oxygen, in a cost-effective manner than depending on external sources during emergencies.
Meanwhile, in the wake of the increasing demand for medical oxygen across the country, the Centre is running the crucial 'Oxygen Express' sending trains with liquid oxygen across states to tackle the shortage. Several countries across the world have also expressed their solidarity with India with the UK, the US, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and the Member States of the European Union sending Oxygen concentrators, cryogenic Oxygen containers and other medical supplies to India.
India reported 3,60,960 fresh cases of Coronavirus on Wednesday which took the total tally of cases in India to 1,79,97,267. As of April 28, there are 29,78,709 active cases in the country which has witnessed 2,61,162 recoveries and 3,293 deaths in the last 24 hours.