Ministry of Home Affairs has ordered states and union territories to reserve the national supply of liquid oxygen, including the existing stock, exclusively for medical purposes. In a statement on Sunday, the ministry said that all liquid oxygen manufacturing units shall be allowed to maximise their capacity and supply the crucial commodity to the government for medical use.
"... the state/union territory governments and state/union territory authorities to ensure that use of liquid oxygen is not allowed for any non-medical purpose and that all manufacturing units may maximise their production of liquid oxygen, and make it available to the government for use for medal purposes only, with immediate effect and until further orders. Further, all stocks of liquid oxygen should also be made available to the government for use for medical purposes," Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said in an order to states and union territories.
No exception is allowed to any industry regarding the use of liquid oxygen, the order further read.
Earlier today, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) gave its approval for setting up 551 dedicated Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) medical oxygen generation plants inside public health facilities across the country. The project will be funded by PM CARES Fund.
"PM has directed that these plants should be made functional as soon as possible. He said that these plants will serve as a major boost to oxygen availability at the district level," the PMO stated.
The PMO said these medical oxygen generation plants will be set up in identified government hospitals in district headquarters of various states and union territories. The procurement for these will be done through the Union Health Ministry.
Earlier, the PM CARES fund had allocated Rs 201.58 crore for the installation of an additional 162 dedicated PSA medical oxygen generation plants inside public health facilities across the country.