New Delhi, April 6 (IANS) The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Monday instructed the states to ensure the supply of oxygen in hospitals, saying that it is a very critical medical item amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has written a letter to all the state Chief Secretaries on the issue and directed for its further circulation among district and field officers.
The direction to the states comes at a time when total novel coronavirus deaths in the country has touched 109, with over 4,000 confirmed cases.
Oxygen is widely used in every healthcare setting, with applications from resuscitation to inhalation therapy.
Addressing a press briefing, Joint Secretary (MHA) Punya Salila Srivastava said that it is very important to maintain the supply of oxygen across the country.
Srivastava said both national and World Health Organisation (WHO) lists have also declared oxygen as a very essential medical item. She maintained that the production, as well as the supply chain of oxygen is exempted from the 21-day lockdown restrictions.
To reiterate it, the Home Secretary on Monday again wrote to the state governments about the importance of oxygen availability.
“The states have been directed to ensure the supply chain without hindrance. The Home Secretary also stressed that social distancing and proper hygiene should be maintained while continuing its supply chain,” Srivastava said.
“He also instructed the states that this direction should be brought to the notice of district authorities and field officers and ensure its strict implementation.”
The official expressed satisfaction over supply of essential goods, asserting that the central government is continuously monitoring it with the help of state governments.