On Sunday, the aviation industry sources said that Air India will bring 600 oxygen concentrators on its two US-India flights in the next two days. The sources also mentioned that these cylinders are ordered by private entities.
Even after providing medical support, the hospitals around the country continue to struggle with a severe shortage of oxygen cylinder. On Saturday, twenty people died at Delhi’s Jaipur Golden Hospital due to a lack of oxygen. According to sources, Air India expects to provide 10,000 oxygen concentrators to private companies in the coming weeks.
When asked about the matter, a spokesperson for Air India said that the airline is willing to take up the task of transporting oxygen concentrators or some other cargo into India. The spokesperson mentioned, “Obviously, Air India with its experience of international operations and the wide-body fleet is fully capable of carrying a large volume of cargo consignments.”
The spokesperson added that will continue to play a major role in transporting oxygen (equipment) and serving the nation in whatever role assigned to them.
To meet the oxygen needs, the government restricted the use of liquid oxygen to only medical use, including the existing stock. The Centre also approved the allocation of funds for the installation of Medical Oxygen Generation Plants inside public health facilities in the country.
Meanwhile, Indian Railways has increased the number of Oxygen Express trains operating around the country to carry liquid medical oxygen to various states.
In addition, the Navy has begun operating oxygen express ferries to island territories. On Sunday, INS Sharda delivered critical medical supplies to the Lakshadweep administration, including 35 oxygen cylinders, Rapid Antigen Detection Test kits, PPE kits, and other items. The IAF has also been airlifting oxygen containers to filling stations to tackle oxygen shortage.
Over the last 24 hours, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the European Union have announced their respective intentions to support India in the fight against this deadly pandemic.
India recorded over 3.23 lakh new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day spike since the pandemic broke out last year. This has taken the cumulative count of the COVID infection in the country to 1,76,36,307. The country has recorded 2,771 new deaths due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. There are 28,82,204 active COVID-19 cases in the country now.