Lucknow: As India faces acute shortage of liquid medical oxygen amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Uttar Pradesh government on Monday set up a screening committee to monitor the supply of medical oxygen in the state.
According to a press statement issued by the Chief Minister's office of Uttar Pradesh, the screening committee includes the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, IIT BHU, and the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Lucknow.
"Indian Railway's 'Oxygen Express', carrying oxygen tankers, are regularly supplying the medical oxygen from Jharkhand's Bokaro. Now Chief Minister has ordered to use the planes for the supply of oxygen," the statement said.
The statement further said that for the uninterrupted supply of oxygen to the cities of UP, the empty oxygen tankers are being airlifted to the Bokaro plant. Uttar Pradesh is currently witnessing a surge in cases. As per the union health ministry, there are 2,97,616 active cases in the state.
The Indian Railways is running 'Oxygen Express' trains and will continue to run them over the next few days to transport liquid medical oxygen and oxygen cylinders across the country. Roll-on-roll-off trucks are being transported on flat wagons by the trains for a quick supply of medical oxygen.
The first Oxygen Express train, that left Visakhapatnam on Thursday, arrived in Maharashtra's Nagpur on Friday evening with seven tankers carrying the life-saving medical gas.
The central government has also restricted the use of liquid oxygen for non-medical purposes with immediate effect with the ministry of home affairs announcing that the use of liquid oxygen will be allowed for medical purposes only.