India banned the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes as many hospitals in the capital, New Delhi, continued to lack oxygen amid a deadly second wave of Covid-19 in the country.
A decision by the Indian Ministry of the Interior on Thursday also states that no restrictions may be imposed on the transport of medical oxygen between states.
The ministry’s order came in response to reports of states blocking the movement of medical oxygen vehicles.
The trade union area of Delhi, which also includes the state capital, does not produce its own oxygen and relies on the allocation of oxygen by the central government from various manufacturers as needed, said Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in a press conference on Thursday.
Some neighboring states that supply oxygen have hampered supplies to Delhi, Kejriwal said, calling on states to “fight this together”.
Some renowned private hospitals in Delhi, such as Fortis, have used social media to urge the prime minister’s office and government officials to increase oxygen supplies.
In light of the shortages reported nationwide, local and state executives have asked the federal government for more oxygen and medication.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared to be answering those calls on Tuesday, announcing plans to ship 100,000 bottles of oxygen across the country, new oxygen production facilities and hospitals for Covid-19 patients.
On Thursday, Modi chaired a meeting to review oxygen supplies across the country and ways to increase oxygen production and improve distribution.
During the meeting, he stressed that the state authorities should make heavy use of these hoardings, according to a government press release.
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