Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said there was no shortage of oxygen now in the city to treat coronavirus patients with more supplies flowing in and his government has drawn up plans to vaccinate the capital’s entire population within three months.
"Now there is no lack of oxygen in Delhi. We should have enough oxygen beds so that no patient is deprived," he said in the meeting that was attended by the Deputy Chief Minister, Health Minister, Health Secretary and District Magistrates.
The wartime effort to move oxygen by land, air and sea amidst the raging pandemic in the country is achieving results.
Indian Air Force and Railways working on a war-footing oxygen supply from the eastern states, where the country’s steel plants are located, had been speeded up to resolve the crisis which developed due to the sudden surge in coronavirus infections. The Indian Navy has also been pitching in by ferrying oxygen from Kuwait, Qatar and Singapore.
Indian Railways has run 47 Oxygen Express trains so far to deliver more than 2,960 metric tonnes (MT) of liquid medical oxygen in 185 tankers to various states across the country. Of this and 1,334 MT has been delivered to Delhi. Oxygen is transported in a liquid form as it can be compressed so that large quantities can move in containers. The IAF has reduced the expedited operations by flying empty containers to the filling points in the eastern states.
“Presently 18 tankers are on the run with more than 260 tonnes of liquid oxygen which are expected to arrive in Maharashtra, Haryana and Delhi. Running of new Oxygen is a very dynamic exercise and figures keep getting updated all the time. More loaded Oxygen Expresses are expected to start their journeys later in the night,” the Railway Ministry said in a statement.
It is Indian Railways endeavour to deliver as much liquid medical oxygen as possible in the shortest time possible to the requesting states, the statement added.
Till the time of this release,174 MT has been offloaded in Maharashtra, 729 MT in UP, 249 MT in MP, 305 MT in Haryana, 123 MT in Telangana.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy have intensified their efforts to ferry oxygen containers and medical equipment to help the civil administration in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a Defence Ministry statement, heavy-lift C-17 aircraft of the IAF have conducted 400 sorties from within the country, including 351 to airlift 252 oxygen tankers of total capacity of 4,904 metric tonnes (MT) as on May 7.
The IAF aircraft also conducted 59 international sorties to airlift 72 cryogenic oxygen storage containers of 1,233 MT total capacity along with 1,252 empty oxygen cylinders. The containers and cylinders were procured from Singapore, Dubai, Bangkok, UK, Germany, Belgium and Australia. In addition, the C-17 and IL-76 aircraft have been tasked to airlift cryogenic oxygen containers, oxygen generators and ventilators from Israel and Singapore.
The Indian Navy deployed its ships INS Talwar, INS Kolkata, INS Airavat, INS Kochi, INS Tabar, INS Trikand, INS Jalashwa & INS Shardul to ferry oxygen containers, concentrators and related equipment from friendly foreign countries from Kuwait, Qatar and Singapore.
Loading of oxygen containers and other medical supplies has also been planned on INS Tarkash, INS Shardul and INS Jalashwa from Doha, Kuwait and Muara, Brunei respectively in the coming days.