Centre orders free oxygen movement between states, restricts supply for industrial purposes

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The order comes as the demand of medical oxygen has risen sharply in recent days due to the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic that is spreading like wildfire across the country.

New Delhi: Amid the raging scarcity of oxygen in hospitals across various states in the country, the Centre has issued fresh orders directing free movement of vehicles transporting oxygen between states.

The order comes as the demand for medical oxygen has risen sharply in recent days due to the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic that is spreading like wildfire across the country.

“No restriction shall be imposed on the movement of Medical Oxygen between the state and transport authorities shall be instructed to accordingly allow free inter-state movement of oxygen-carrying vehicles,” an order by the Ministry of Home Affairs said.

“There shall be free movement of oxygen-carrying vehicles into the cities, without any restrictions of timings,” the statement added.

The MHA also barred the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes for the time being to ensure that the demand of the hospitals is met.

“Supply for industrial purposes, except those exempted by the government, is prohibited with effect from April 22 till further orders,” the order stated.

The government further directed that oxygen manufacturers and suppliers should not limit their supplies to the state or union territory in which they are located.

The MHA has asked the district administration across states to ensure the implementation of the orders.

Earlier today, the Supreme Court told the centre that it wants a national plan on issues including the supply of oxygen and essential drugs for the treatment of patients infected with the virus.

India registered over 3.14 lakh new coronavirus cases in a day, the highest-ever single-day count recorded in any country, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases in the country to 1,59,30,965.

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