The Home Ministry has asked all the States to ensure free movement of oxygen carrying vehicles without any restriction as medical oxygen is an important prerequisite for managing moderate and severe COVID-19 cases.
In a letter to Chief Secretaries of all states and Union Territories, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said it has come to the notice that some states are trying to curb inter-state movement of oxygen supplies from manufacturing units situated in their areas.
He said, some states are also mandating manufacturers and suppliers located in the state to restrict their oxygen supplies to the hospitals of the state.
Ajay Bhalla emphasised that medical oxygen is an essential public health commodity and any impediment in the supply of medical oxygen in the country may critically impact the management of patients suffering from COVID-19 in other parts of the country.
He asked the States and Union Territories to ensure no such restriction is imposed on the movement of medical oxygen between states and transport authorities shall be instructed to accordingly allow free inter-state movement of oxygen carrying vehicles.
It is also said that no restrictions shall be imposed on oxygen manufacturers and suppliers to limit the oxygen supplies only to the hospitals of the state in which they are located.
He said, there shall be free movement of oxygen carrying vehicles into the cities, without any restriction of timings, while also enabling inter-city supply without restriction.
The Home Secretary also requested that all states and Union Territories may constitute multi-disciplinary teams, comprising representatives of the health, industry, transport and other related departments, to continuously monitor the availability of medical oxygen in their jurisdictions.
Ajay Bhalla said, any shortfalls or related problems that are encountered in this regard, should be immediately brought to the notice of the Central Control Room that has been established in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.