The Third COVID Wave leaves a Drastic Effect on India

India is battling the issue regarding the transferring of huge quantities of medical oxygen to hospitals in its capital New Delhi and other areas badly affected by a record surge of COVID-19 by air, train, and road. 

Hospitals Are Running Out Of Oxygen 

The major issue is that medical oxygen is not reaching hospital beds on time. This delay is the result due to the troublesome locations of production units, a stretched distribution network, and what critics have been saying is poor planning.

Several hospitals in New Delhi have no remarkable oxygen production capacity and had made desperate public calls this week striving for emergency supplies.

With COVID-19 cases also engulfing its nearby states like Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, oxygen facilities there are over-stretched attempting to meet district demand.

Additional medical oxygen now has to be trucked in from industrial zones in eastern India to satisfy Delhi’s current necessity. 

Oxygen Deliveries Are Getting Delayed 

According to a court document, the facilities from where Delhi will now obtain oxygen that spread across seven states, some more than 1,000 km (625 miles) away.  

Given the dangerous nature of the substance, all liquid oxygen must be transported in a restricted number of specialized tankers, requiring prior planning to ensure deliveries are made on time, a gas industry source told Reuters.

In recent days, local officials in some regions interfered with the movement of tankers in a bid to keep supplies for themselves as a clamber for oxygen among states aggravated. 

In part due to such barricades, Delhi only obtained about 177 tons of oxygen on Wednesday against its distribution of 378 tons, an official said.

But the industry source said that Delhi had also dragged its feet on advance planning, without factoring in the time it takes to transport oxygen cross-country by road.

The source said that that problem wouldn’t have occurred if they had taken action 2-3 weeks ago.  

Delhi’s government did not give any response to questions about the poor planning.

Does India Have Sufficient Oxygen? 

India has a daily production capacity of at least 7,100 tons of oxygen as well as for industrial usage, which seems to be sufficient to meet current demand.

This week, the government distributed 6,822 tons of liquid oxygen per day to 20 of the country’s worst-affected areas, compared to their altogether demand of 6,785 tons, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office said on Thursday.

India’s total medical oxygen requirement was just 3,842 tons as of April 12, as the surge in cases really took hold.

States are generally distributing supplies by an inter-ministerial group of bureaucrats mandated to monitor and facilitate the flow of crucial medical kits during the pandemic.

Modi’s office has noted that the accessibility of liquid medical oxygen had multiplied by about 3,300 tons in the past few days, with steel plants and other manufacturing units diverting their production.

Edhi Foundation Offers Help

Son of renowned Pakistani philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi and chairperson of the Edhi Foundation, Faisal Edhi, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, offering assistance in the form of “a fleet of 50 ambulances” and other services.

They, at the Edhi Foundation, had been closely following the current impact that the Covid-19 crisis had had on the people of India, Edhi said. They were very sorry to hear about the exceptionally massive impact that the pandemic had had on India, where an enormous number of people are suffering extremely.  

Edhi in person offered to lead and manage the humanitarian team from his organization. Their organization understood the threat of the situation, and they wished to lend them full support, without any inconvenience, he wrote.

He said that the Edhi foundation would send a team of emergency medical technicians, drivers, office staff, and supporting staff to India. Certainly, they were not asking any other help from them, as they were supplying the fuel, food, and other necessary amenities that their team would require, Edhi added.

What Is India Doing To Overcome The Crisis?

The federal government has mobilized the Indian railways to move numerous tankers from refilling plants to where it is most required.

The Indian government is working with industrial gas major Linde India (LIND.NS) and others and is also utilizing the Air Force’s cargo planes to fly empty tankers to production hubs and refilled oxygen tankers are to be reverted back by road.

The armed forces are importing 23 mobile oxygen generation plants from Germany.

Some other industries are offering oxygen to hospitals, while salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group is importing 24 functional containers to carry liquid oxygen.

The government has issued orders to turn argon and nitrogen tankers into oxygen ones.

However, as some specialists predict a threefold of daily infections in a few weeks, India will have to dramatically elevate both oxygen production and distribution systems.

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