State-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has started free supply of 150 metric ton of oxygen to hospitals in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab, the country’s largest refiner said in a statement on Monday.
This comes in the backdrop of the union government prohibiting the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes by manufacturers and suppliers from 22 April in the wake of a surge in its demand for covid-19 patients in hospitals.
“The first batch of the lifesaver medical grade Oxygen was dispatched today to Maha Durga Charitable Trust Hospital, New Delhi. Delhi is already facing an oxygen emergency situation,” IOC said in a statement.
In the face of a very severe covid-19 second wave, India’s creaking healthcare system has been caught flat-footed again, with reports of acute shortage of oxygen, vaccines, testing kits, hospital beds, and ICUs.
Given the shortage of medical oxygen in the country, the Indian Railways is preparing to transport liquid medical oxygen and oxygen cylinders across key corridors. Accordingly, a corridor is being created for fast movement of these Oxygen Express trains.
“In the face of a massive surge in demand for medical oxygen during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, IndianOil has diverted the high-purity oxygen used in its Mono Ethylene Glycol (MEG) Unit to produce medical-grade liquid oxygen at its Panipat Refinery & Petrochemical Complex,” the IOC statement added.
As parts of the country re-impose lockdowns, super spreader events such as political rallies and the Kumbh Mela threaten to spread covid-19 infections to India’s villages