New Delhi: The supply of oxygen meant for industries will now be diverted for medical use as a record surge in the COVID-19 cases was logged in India, said a letter from the government to the chief secretaries of all the states.
The government’s move is aimed at plugging the oxygen gap in the country, particularly in the high-burden states – Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan – the letter from the Home Secretary’s office said.
Nine industries – Ampoules and vials, pharmaceutical, petroleum refineries, steel plants, nuclear energy facilities, oxygen cylinder manufacturers, waste water treatment plants, food and water purification, process industries which require uninterrupted operation of furnaces, processes, etc. – however, have been exempted from this prohibition, it said.
Notably, the demand for medical oxygen has gone through the roof. There have been reports of shortage of medical oxygen from several states and Union Territories, including Maharashtra and Delhi.