As coronavirus cases in India reached 45,62,414 on Friday with a record spike of 96,551 new cases in a day, the Centre has asked the states/Union Territories not to restrict the movement of medical oxygen needed to save critical patients.
In a letter written to the States/UTs, the Health Secretary has urged States/UTs to ensure that no restriction is imposed on the movement of medical oxygen between them. It has been strongly reinforced that it is every State’s responsibility to ensure that every hospitalized COVID patient receives oxygen.
The Union Health Secretary has also emphasised that the availability of adequate and uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen is an important pre-requisite for managing moderate and severe cases of COVID-19.
In Unlock 4 guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which commenced on September 1, there are no border restrictions anywhere in the country. Despite the fact, it has come to the knowledge of the health ministry that the states are exercising some provisions under various acts and mandating the manufacturers/suppliers located in the state to restrict their oxygen supplies to only the hospitals of the state.
Medical oxygen is an essential public health commodity, the letter said. Adding, it stated that any impediment in the supplies of medical oxygen may critically impact the management of patients suffering from Covid-19 disease in other parts of the country.