On a war footing. Oxygen are being transported by the Indian Air Force to meet the shortage of the gas for the Covid-19 affected patients in the country (Pic: Courtesy Twitter/@IAF_MCC)
Mission Vayu to end oxygen hunger in India, battling a ferocious second wave is now in full swing.
Pursuing a “whole of government” approach Indian authorities are on high alert to import oxygen concentrators on a war footing, while exponentially ramping up domestic production.
"We are looking at importing oxygen concentrators and containers from Germany, Singapore, UAE, Russia, UK, US and EU countries. We are procuring concentrators and tankers both commercially and are accepting donations as well," said an official.
To meet the oxygen demand, the Indian government has tied up with many private companies to import their oxygen concentrators to India. The Centre has also waived customs duty and health cess on imports of oxygen, oxygen equipment and covid19 vaccines.
The Prime Minister has directed the Revenue Department to ensure seamless and quick custom clearance of all such equipment.
The government is facilitating oxygen transport through air, rail and road to bring up the supply of oxygen to cities across India. There’s also an acute shortage of oxygen concentrators and cylinders.
The empowered group, comprising of officials from across ministries is coordinating efforts to airlift oxygen containers from abroad. Indian missions overseas are closely involved in augmenting India's oxygen supplies.
The Pune Platform for Covid-19 Response (PPCR), anchored at Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) has arranged for procurement and donation of 250 ventilators and 4,000 oxygen concentrators for the worst affected areas and hotspots of the country.
The equipment has been arranged from Singapore to India under ‘Mission Vayu’.
In a statement PPCR said: “The initiative is also supported by Air India and the Ministry of Civil Aviation. We are also in touch with leading international companies to seek their support and partnership. PPCR is coordinating with respective partners and supporting organisations/offices and shall be importing the BiPaPs (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure) and oxygen concentrators on an immediate basis. We have already placed the order for 250 ventilators and 4000 oxygen concentrator units, and the first consignment is expected to arrive in India from Singapore on Sunday (April 25). We are also trying to source more critical care items from other countries like Israel, etc.”
In the past three days, PPCR has raised ₹12 crore to set up 12 oxygen generator plants that are now being set up at multiple government and private hospitals. “With a combined capacity of generating 12 tonnes of oxygen a day, these oxygen plants will help save hundreds of lives in coming days,” said MCCIA office bearers.
According to them, the distribution of the BiPaPs and oxygen concentrators shall be organised through a consultative process with all donor and partner organisations and associations. Given the scale of the initiative, the equipment will be open for distribution to preferred areas/hospitals in consensus with the donors, with a clear understanding that it is used only for charitable purpose and should be used on an immediate basis for Covid relief.
Meanwhile, India’s private airlines said in a release on Saturday that its cargo plane has airlifted 800 oxygen concentrators from Hong Kong to India this evening, for emergency use and distribution across the country. We are also working to bring more than 10,000 more oxygen concentrators from across the world in the next few weeks.