New Delhi: In a bid to expedite the process of providing oxygen to various states, the Indian Air Force and the Indian Railways have also been roped in. As part of the operation, C-17 and IL-76 aircraft of IAF airlifted two empty cryogenic oxygen containers, and one IL-76 aircraft airlifted one empty container to Panagarh yesterday. “The IAF has started transporting empty tankers after delivery of oxygen to destination states and UTs to oxygen-producing locations to reduce movement time”, the home ministry said in a statement.Also Read - Covid or no COVID, Work From Home Policy Stays on Table For Several Companies | Full List

The MHA asserted that it has also taken steps to make available additional tankers for the movement of oxygen. IAF transport planes have been deployed to coordinate the lifting of high-capacity tankers from Singapore and UAE. Also Read - India Reports First Case Of Omicron Subvariant BA.4 in Hyderabad

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Moreover, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also reviewed the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the country amid the reports of shortage of oxygen supply from various hospitals across the country. After reviewing the situation, Shah has directed various measures to augment the supply of oxygen for medical purposes. “An Expert Group is optimizing and rationalising the allocation of oxygen to various States and UTs, keeping in view the active cases and to reduce time for movement of medical oxygen,” the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement.

The ministry had on Thursday issued an order directing the State/ UTS to take various measures to ensure an uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen across the country.

The MHA has further written to States/UTs, to direct District Collectors or Deputy Commissioners to list all the plants situated in their district, in which different types of oxygen is generated, along with the installed capacity.

The ministry has also district collectors or deputy commissioners of the states and UTs to hand over a list all the oxygen plants, mentioning what types of oxygen is generated, along with the installed capacity to ensure the ready availability of oxygen.

Explained: Indian Railways Set to Run ‘Oxygen Express’ Amid Rising Coronavirus Cases | Details Inside

Image for representational purposes

Oxygen Express Corridor

The Indian Railways is running Oxygen Express trains and will continue to run them over the next few days to transport liquid medical oxygen and oxygen cylinders amid the acute shortage of medical oxygen as the Centre and state are struggling to combat the second wave of the COVID-19.

On Friday, the Railway Board Chairman Suneet Arora confirmed, after Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, requests for Oxygen Express has come from Andhra Pradesh and the Delhi government.

Following the unprecedented surge in the COVID cases in the national capital and most of the hospitals gasping for breath in absence of adequate supply of oxygen, the Delhi government requested the Railways to operate Oxygen Express to help them come out of the crisis, news agency PTI reported.