Facing a shortage of oxygen amid the rising COVID-19 cases, the Rajasthan government on Saturday said it has started importing oxygen concentrators from Russia and China and plans to purchase more than 28,000 such machines from different countries this month.
The Rajasthan government has taken the lead by making direct contact with foreign countries and arranging oxygen concentrators. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot took the decision on April 30 and a committee for the procurement of oxygen concentrators was set up, he said.
The state government will purchase more than 28,000 oxygen concentrators this month, he added.
The procurement committee contacted 62 companies from 13 countries in a very short span of time. In about a week’s time, the first batch of 100 oxygen concentrators from Russia has been received, Sharma said.
He said 1,250 oxygen concentrators are being sourced from Russia. The remaining will arrive on May 9, 14 and 16.
Another 6,900 oxygen concentrators will be received from China by May 25. With this, 8,150 oxygen concentrators from Russia and China will arrive in Jaipur by May 25, he added.
The health minister said the procurement committee is examining proposals from the UAE and other countries for another 15,000 oxygen concentrators.
Sharma said a resident of Rajasthan has arranged 1,000 oxygen concentrators from Dubai and will be providing them to the state free of cost. Of these, 250 oxygen concentrators are expected to arrive in Jaipur by May 10.
As of Friday, Rajasthan had 7,20,799 COVID-19 cases and 5,346 deaths, according to official data.