"Accordingly, an Expert Group is optimising and rationalizing the allocation of oxygen to various States and UTs, keeping in view the active cases and to reduce time for movement of medical oxygen," the MHA said in a statement.
It further said, the MHA had issued an order on April 22, 2021, invoking Disaster Management Act, 2005, and directed the State/ UTS to take various measures to ensure uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen across the country.
"The MHA has today again written to all States and UTs to ensure compliance with the order and to provide adequate security to oxygen transporting vehicles and to make provisions for exclusive corridors for such transportation, treating these vehicles like ambulances," the official statement read further.
It said the central government has already prohibited supply of oxygen for industrial purposes, except those for few essential sectors through an order on April 18, 2021, which resulted in significant augmentation of supply of medical oxygen. "Steps are being taken to further reduce consumption of industrial oxygen by industries, which will augment the supply of oxygen for medical purpose," it added.
"MHA has also written to States/UTs, to direct District Collectors/Deputy Commissioners to list all the plants situated in their districts, in which different types of oxygen is generated, along with the installed capacity. They should also take action to revive those plants, which are lying closed. These efforts will ensure ready availability of oxygen at the district level, besides supply of medical oxygen from usual channels," the statement read.
The MHA and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare are in regular touch with the States and UTs for promoting optimal use of medical oxygen and undertake periodic audits to ensure there is no wastage of medical oxygen and essential medicines, it said. (UNI)