'Medical oxygen production being ramped up to fight COVID-19 second wave': Officials inform PM

NEW DELHI: The production of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) has risen to 8,922 MT per day and is expected to cross 9,250 MT by the end of the month, the government said on Tuesday, noting that it was only 5,700 MT in August last year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was informed about the increasing production of the life-saving gas, whose shortage has been reported in several places amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, at a high-level meeting on Tuesday during which he asked officials to work closely with state governments to start PSA Oxygen plants at the earliest.

In the meeting on the prevailing COVID-19 situation, Modi reviewed the availability of medical infrastructure and directed officials to ensure rapid upgradation of health facilities, the PMO said in a statement.

Three empowered groups also made a presentation to the prime minister, it added.

Modi was briefed about the functioning of the Oxygen Express Railways service as well as the domestic and international sorties undertaken by the Air Force to transport oxygen tankers.

Officials also noted that they are encouraging states to also set up PSA oxygen plants.

The empowered group working on the medical infrastructure and COVID-19 management briefed him on efforts being undertaken to ramp up the availability of beds and ICUs.

They informed him on efforts to break the chain of transmission with Modi stressing the need to ensure that specific guidelines and strategies evolved regarding the COVID management needs to be properly implemented by relevant agencies in the states.

“It was discussed that the production of LMO in the country has increased from 5700 MT/day in August 2020 to the present 8922 MT (on 25th April 2021). The domestic production of LMO is expected to cross 9250 MT/day by the end of April 2021,” the statement said.