Politics

PM Modi chairs high-level Covid review meet, tells officials to ‘ensure rapid upgradation of health infrastructure’ – Hindustan Times

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday chaired a high-level meeting with the top officials to review the Covid-19 situation in India. The Prime Minister was briefed about the availability of essential medical supplies like oxygen, medicines, health infrastructure that has reached its capacity due to the massive surge in the number of daily coronavirus disease cases.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister instructed the officials to work closely with the state governments to begin the functioning of the PSA oxygen plants at the earliest. The officials also informed him that the states were encouraged to set up the plants to meet the required demand of the life-saving gas.

Also read | PM Modi, home minister directly monitoring oxygen supplies: Govt tells SC

The Prime Minister was informed by the Empowered Group working on boosting oxygen supply about the measures being taken to step up the allocation of oxygen to the states. It was discussed that the production of liquid medical oxygen has increased by over 3000 MT from August last year. From 5700 MT per day produced in August 2020, the country is producing 8922 MT presently, as of April 25, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office. The domestic production of the essential liquid medical oxygen is expected to increase further and cross 9250 MT per day by the end of this month.

This comes after the Centre informed the Supreme Court earlier in the day that the Prime Minister is working to increase the oxygen supply in the country on a war footing and is constantly supervising the availability of oxygen.

The officials also apprised Modi about the functioning of the Oxygen Express by the railways as well as the domestic and international sorties undertaken by the Indian Air Force for transportation of oxygen tankers.

On Monday, a C-17 aircraft of the IAF airlifted six empty cryogenic oxygen containers from Dubai. The C-17 transport plane was also used for domestic oxygen transportation on Tuesday as it carried two empty tankers from Indore in Madhya Pradesh to Jamnagar in Gujarat for oxygen filling amid the huge demand for the gap due to the spike in Covid-19 cases.

The Empowered Group working on medical infrastructure and Covid management briefed the Prime Minister about the efforts undertaken to boost the availability of beds and ICUs in the nation as people struggle with an acute shortage of hospital beds.

Also read | ‘Better prepared to beat Covid-19 this year compared to 2020’: Harsh Vardhan

PM Modi stressed on the need to ensure that specific guidelines and strategies for Covid management are properly implemented by the states.

Another Empowered Group, which is working on communication informed Modi about the efforts undertaken to increase awareness among people on Covid-appropriate behaviour.

India is struggling from a seemingly high contagious second wave of Covid-19 that has left its infrastructure in complete disarray. On Tuesday, 323,144 new fresh Covid-19 infections and more than 2,700 deaths in the last 24 hours, the health ministry’s data showed.

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