Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday told chief ministers of states and Union Territories badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic to ensure there are no hindrances in the transportation of oxygen tankers as several regions across the country reported a shortage in the supply for Covid-19 patients.
“He urged the states to check hoarding and black marketing of oxygen and medicines. The PM said that every state should ensure that no oxygen tanker, whether it is meant for any state, is stopped or gets stranded,” a press release by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.
The PM assured Centre’s full support to all the states and in this fight. He added that the Ministry of Health is also in touch with the states and is monitoring the situation closely and issuing necessary advices to the states from time to time.
PM Modi’s remarks came at a high-level meeting on the worsening Covid-19 spread with chief ministers of 11 states and Union Territories that have reported the maximum number of cases in the past couple of weeks. The meeting comes at a time when many states are reporting a lack of health infrastructure to meet the needs amid a massive spike in Covid-19 cases.
Mentioning that India is running the world’s largest vaccination programme and over 13 crore vaccine doses have so far been provided free of cost to the states by the Government of India, he said that “our vaccination programme should not slowdown in this situation”.
“The campaign launched by the Central Government to provide free vaccine to all citizens above 45 years as well has Health-Care workers and Front-Line workers will also continue in the same manner. From May 1, the vaccine is going to be available to all citizens above 18 years of age. We will also need to work in mission mode to get more and more people vaccinated,” a Press Information Bureau (PIB) release quoting the PM said.
The Prime Minister further said that hospital safety is also very important along with all measures for treatment of the patients.
He also said that the government is working on all possible options to reduce the travel time and turnaround time of oxygen tankers. “For this, railways has started Oxygen Express. Empty Oxygen tankers are also being transported by the Air Force to reduce one-way travel time,” the PMO said.
“He said the biggest basis of India’s success during the first wave of the pandemic was our united efforts and united strategy and reiterated that we will have to address this challenge in the same way,” according to the PMO.