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Union Home Secy writes to states/UTs to ensure free transportation of oxygen amid COVID-19 surge

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Union Home Secy writes to states/UTs to ensure free transportation of oxygen amid COVID-19 surge

New Delhi, April 16: Amid the increasing number of COVID-19 cases across the country, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has written a letter to all states and union territories, asking them to ensure free movement of transportation of oxygen and vehicles of its manufacturers inter-state and inter-city.

“No such restriction is imposed on the movement of Medical Oxygen between the states/UTs and transport authorities shall be instructed to accordingly allow free inter-state movement of oxygen-carrying vehicles. No restrictions shall be imposed on oxygen manufacturers and suppliers to limit the oxygen supplies only to the hospitals of the state in which they are located,” Bhalla said while asking them to ensure the supply of oxygen.

“There shall be free movement of oxygen-carrying vehicles into the cities, without any restriction of timings, while also enabling inter-city supply without restriction; and the supply plan as referred in para four above should strictly be adhered to by all the states/UTs,” he added.

The Union Home Secretary noted that in order to break the chain of transmission and curb the spread of Covid-19, various states/UTs have imposed additional restrictions on certain activities and curfews, etc.

“As you are aware, availability of adequate and uninterrupted supply of Medical Oxygen is an important pre-requisite for managing moderate and severe cases of COVID-19. With increasing cases, the medical oxygen supplies will need to keep pace with the requirements of the states. Keeping in view the requisition of Medical Oxygen and to ensure its smooth supplies to concerned agencies, Empowered Group-II, which is mandated for coordinating medical logistics including oxygen, has prepared a supply plan that is required to be followed by all states/UTs and concerned agencies,” Bhalla told the states.

“It is emphasised that Medical Oxygen is an essential public health commodity and any impediment in the supplies of Medical Oxygen in the country may critically impact the management of patients suffering from COVID-19 disease in other parts of the country,” he added.

Over the last few weeks, COVID-19 cases in India have soared, surpassing Brazil in terms of active cases. The highest-ever single-day spike in COVID-19 cases was reported in the last 24 hours, with 2,17,353 new cases and more than 1,100 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the union health ministry.

With this, the total number of cases has gone up to 1,42,91,917. The active number of cases stands at 15,69,743.

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