India sold twice as much oxygen to the world in the first ten months of fiscal 2020-21 as it did in the entire previous fiscal year, according to data from the Department of Commerce. It did so despite the fact that India was one of the three nations hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic for a substantial portion of that period.
Between April 2020 and January 2021, India exported 9,301 tons of oxygen around the world and earned 8.9 billion rupees from trading. In contrast, the country exported only Rs 4,514 crore in the 2019-20 fiscal year, which equates to Rs 5.5 crore.
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Medical oxygen, an important resource in treating critically ill coronavirus patients, was in short supply with the second wave of the pandemic, resulting in tremendous demand across the country. On Tuesday, the chief minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, announced that certain hospitals had only a few hours of medical oxygen in their reserves.
A similar crisis exists in other parts of the nation. Maharashtra, which accounts for nearly 60 percent of COVID-19 cases in India, had asked the center to provide more medical oxygen as the rapidly growing number of patients in need of the goods quickly depleted supplies. On April 19, several cryogenic tankers were sent aboard Indian Railways’ Oxygen Express to industrial areas in various parts of the country for liquid oxygen delivery and delivery to the state.
Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and several other regions suffer from an identical enigma. Patients are struggling to find oxygen as the government rushes to arrange it.
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On April 18, the central government ordered that all of the industry’s oxygen supplies, except for a few, should be diverted to hospitals. Authorized Group II (EG-II), headed by the Secretary of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), recommended restricting the oxygen supply to manufacturers. The recommendation comes into force on April 22nd.
In its order, the ED-II stated that the demand for medical oxygen is already at 60 percent of production capacity and will most likely increase in the coming days.
Several companies, such as Reliance Industries, SAIL, Tata Steel and ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India, have already volunteered to provide oxygen from their facilities for life saving purposes. According to the steel ministry, 28 oxygen works in the steel plant of the public and private sectors supply around 1,500 tons of medical oxygen every day. An additional stock of 30,000 tons, including the safety stock, will also be made available for medical use.
There are also plans to build 162 pressure swing adsorption (PSA) oxygen systems in public health facilities. These increase medical oxygen capacity by 154.19 tons.
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