Roll On Roll Off (RORO) Oxygen Express, that departed from Visakhapatnam yesterday

NEW DELHI: With several Covid-hit states reeling under an acute shortage of medical oxygen, the Centre has boosted efforts to ensure adequate supply of the crucial gas.

Here are the key developments of the day:

India to airlift 23 oxygen generation plants from Germany

On Friday, the defence ministry said it will airlift 23 mobile oxygen generating plants from Germany to India to meet the demands of the hospitals, PTI reported.

Principal spokesperson in the defence ministry A Bharat Bhushan Babu said the plants will be deployed in the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) hospitals treating Covid-19 patients.

Another official said the Indian Air Force has been told to keep its transport aircraft ready to bring the plants from Germany once required paper works are completed.

Oxygen Express Starts Journey

The first 'Oxygen Express' carrying liquid medical oxygen departed for Maharashtra from Visakhapatnam late Thursday night. It arrived at Nagpur on Friday evening.

Railway minister Piyush Goyal took to Twitter to inform about the Ro-Ro (roll-on-roll-off) train with seven tankers leaving for Maharashtra. A second oxygen express also departed from Bokaro to Lucknow in UP earlier today and is likely to reach on Saturday.

On Sunday, the Railways had announced it will run Oxygen Express over the next few days to transport oxygen across the country.

PM Modi Speaks To Oxygen Manufacturers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday interacted with leading oxygen manufacturers across India and called for utilising the industry's full potential to meet the spiralling demand.

He said there is a need to increase the availability of oxygen cylinders as well as to upgrade the logistical facilities for its transportation.

He urged the industry to utilise tankers meant to transport other gases for oxygen supply, saying the time now is not only to deal with the challenges but also to provide solutions in a very short time.
Modi also stressed on the need to maintain good coordination between the government and the oxygen producers, according to a statement.