Centre leaving no stone unturned in COVID-19 management: Pralhad Joshi

Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar and Union Minister Pralhad Joshi symbolically hand over 80 oxygen concentrators donated by MSIL under CSR initiate to Dharwad district administration in Hubballi on Friday.   | Photo Credit: KIRAN BAKALE

“The Union government is undertaking COVID-19 management on a war footing and supplying oxygen to various States by 105 trains and has supplied 230 oxygen tankers by cargo flights and 1,142 MT oxygen through 62 tankers of Indian Air Force,” Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi said here on Friday.

Speaking to presspersons after formally handing over the 80 oxygen concentrators donated to the district administration by MICL under CSR, Mr. Joshi said that earlier only 1% of the oxygen produced in India was utilised for medical purposes and now it had been increased to 6 to 7%.

“Under PM Cares Fund, ₹322 crore has been spent for purchase 1.50 lakh oxycare systems. Forty nations in the world are helping India and 2,285 MT oxygen has been imported from Behrain, Kuwait and France. Before the onset of second wave the country had a demand of Rs. 5,700 MT oxygen daily and now it has increased to 18,000 MT daily. At present 11,000 MT of oxygen is being produced in the country”, he said.

Mr. Joshi said that 1,594 PSI Oxygen manufacturing plants are being set up under PM Cares. He said that the Centre, with the assistance of various industries, was setting up oxygen manufacturing plants in 28 districts and as per the demand of the elected representatives more plants would be sanctioned to the State. Already sanction had been given to utilise 30% of Mineral Fund in the districts for COVID-19 management, he said.

The Union Minister said that more than oxygen, the country faced shortage of tankers to supply oxygen and to make up for the same, tankers used for supply of petroleum and nitrogen were being converted to transport oxygen. “At present 1,580 tankers are available and there is need for 2,000 tankers. The production of Remdesivir injections has been increased from 38 lakhs to 1 crore. So far, 18 lakh people have been vaccinated in the country and 1.9 crore doses of vaccine have been given to Karnataka,” he said.

Admitting that the experts committee had warned about the second wave, Mr. Joshi however said that they had not warned the people about the scale of requirement of oxygen and medicines in the country. Moreover, the magnitude of the second wave was unprecedented, he said.

The Minister said that the vaccine production had been enhanced and by August the country would have 200 doses of vaccines available. And by June/July, adequate quantities of vaccine would be available, he said, adding that the Opposition parties should not indulge in politics. Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar, Deputy Commissioner Nitesh Patil and others were present.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 12:40:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/centre-leaving-no-stone-unturned-in-covid-19-management-pralhad-joshi/article34561688.ece

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