The production of liquid medical oxygen, a key component in the treatment of Covid patients, has gone up by ten times, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today on his monthly radio programme “Mann Ki Baat”.
“In the normal course, we were producing 900 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen in a day. Today, the production has gone up to 9,500 metric tonnes a day – an increase of almost 10 per cent,” said the Prime Minister underlining the government efforts in fighting coronavirus.
A few weeks ago, there were multiple SOS from hospitals, with many saying they were left with just a few hours’ of medical oxygen. Social media catalogued oxygen demands from citizens across the country.
Emergency medical aid arrived from foreign donors to alleviate a dire oxygen shortage even as government directed states that all liquid oxygen, including stock existing with private plants, be used for medical purposes only. Special Oxygen Express Trains were started in response to states’ demand for urgent supply.
“During second wave of COVID-19, a major challenge was to supply medical oxygen to remote areas. To counter challenges that the country faced, drivers of Cryogenic oxygen tankers helped by working on war footing and saved lives of lakhs of people,” said the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the efforts of the armed forces in making sure oxygen supplies reach the far corners of the land.
“This fight (against COVID-19) is so big that like Railways, our country is working through all three routes, water, land, sky (Navy, Army and Air Force). Work of transporting empty tankers to oxygen plants by Air Force planes is being done, while the work of making new oxygen plants is also being completed,” said PM Modi.
Reminding listeners that today also marks the completion of seven years of BJP government at the centre, PM Modi reiterated the guiding philosophy of his government: “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vishwas”.
The Prime Minister underscored that the nation is fighting COVID-19 with all its strength.
In the beginning of the pandemic there was only one testing lab in the country, noted the Prime Minister, adding, that today more than 2,500 labs are working.
“Initially, a few hundred tests could be done in a day, now more than 20 lakh Covid tests are being conducted in a day. Till now, more than 33 crore samples have been tested in the country,” said PM Modi.
The country today recorded less than 2 lakh Covid cases for the third consecutive day with 1.65 lakh fresh infections, taking overall case count to 2.78 crore. The positivity rate remained below 10 per cent for sixth straight day.
Last evening, PM Modi announced that his government will provide support to children who have lost their parents to Covid. Free education will be ensured for them and they will get help in seeking higher education loans, an official statement read.