With the advent of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for medical oxygen increased 7 times from 700 tonnes per day to 5000 tonnes per day in April. To bridge the demand and supply gap, the Centre sanctioned the installation of PSA’s in many states at the earliest and urged the relevant industries to initiate the production of medical oxygen.
With this, the medical oxygen availability has increased to 9,200 tonnes a day within a month, as per a report in Business Today. Siddharth Jain, Director, Inox Air Products, the largest manufacturer of industrial and medical gases in India said that the issue of oxygen shortage in the country will be mitigated within a few days.
The excess demand for medical oxygen was unprecedented as even during the peak of the first COVID-19 wave in India, maximum demand was not more than 3,000 tonnes a day.
Role of Inox in bridging the demand-supply gap
The company is currently responsible for creating over 75 per cent of the existing medical oxygen infrastructure in India.
Talking about the obstacles to supply medical oxygen across the nation and the solution for the same, Jain in a virtual press conference informed, “The main issue was in supply chain as liquid medical oxygen has to be transported in cryogenic tankers, which normally cater to a 200 kilometre radius. With the increased demand even in remote areas, now tankers have to cater to over 1,000 kilometres radius. India had only 1,200 such tankers before the current crisis and permission was given recently to convert another 1,200 nitrogen and argon carrying tankers to transport medical oxygen. Besides, some 40 plus such tankers have been imported.”
“With the point-to-point green corridor ‘Oxygen Express’ trains shuttling between most affected areas, and with Airforce, Navy helping with the transport, the logistics issues are more or less resolved. Now, we can cater to even remotest areas even if the wave spreads to non-affected states,” he added.
Inox Air Products produces about 2,600 tonnes oxygen a day catering the demand of over 26 states. According to Jain, the capacity has been increased to around 40 percent in the past three years and has announced an investment of Rs 2,000 crore to increase capacity in the next few years.
It takes about two years to set up a new oxygen plant, Jain informed.
Oxygen manufacturing in the country
Most of the oxygen manufacturing units in the country are concentrated in the North and East; close to steel plants which are the main consumers of oxygen, as per INOX in the Business Today report.
Maharashtra, which has the highest demand mainly in Mumbai and Pune, produces around 1,500 tonnes of medical oxygen. Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh follow. About 25% of all production is consumed by Maharashtra and Gujarat alone.
Talking about fulfilling the demand of the capital city and allotment process, Jain said, “Delhi does not have a manufacturing unit and currently, supplies are 140 tonnes a day, including 450 tonnes supplied in the last three days. Earlier, companies were supplying medical oxygen directly to hospitals. Now, the Centre monitors production and allocates oxygen to states depending on the number of cases and situation.”
MP Plans Affordable Liquor Policy, 90ml Country Liquor Packs to Help the Poor, Stop Hooch Tragedies
The Madhya Pradesh government’s excise policy for 2021-22 aims to package country liquor in 90 millilitre bottles so that it becomes affordable to the poor who may skip costlier 180ml bottles and opt for cheaper and possibly spurious liquor, officials said on Saturday. The move to have country liquor in smaller bottles comes after 38 people died drinking illicit liquor in Ujjain and Morena in October and January, they added.
The policy, cleared by the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in its cabinet meeting on Friday, however, has put on hold plans to sell liquor online, unlike neighbouring Chhattisgarh which recently became the 12th state where people can purchase alcohol in this mode. “As per the new policy, liquor companies must pack 10 per cent of their production in 90ml bottles. Country liquor used to come in 180 ml packs, which some of the poor consumers may not have been able to afford and there was the risk of them turning towards cheaper and possibly spurious liquor,” an official explained.
“The 90 ml bottle may be more affordable as it will come at half the price of a quarter,” he added. The new excise policy will come into effect from June 1 and will be in force for just 10 months, the months of April and May having been “dry ones” due to the corona curfew in place, officials pointed out.
Under the new policy, licence fee of outlets has been hiked by 10 per cent to tide over excise losses brought about by the coronavirus-induced restrictions, they added. “The closure of liquor outlets has affected business by some Rs 32 crore daily,” MP Excise Commissioner Rajeev Dubey told PTI.
Corona curfew is in force in MP since April 20.
All India Parisangh shares image from 2008 to target Modi govt
On Saturday (May 15), Dalit organisation All India Parisangh (AIP) sparked controversy by taking potshots at the Modi government using a 13-year-old image. The organisation was founded by Dalit activist and Congress leader Udit Raj.
In a tweet, AIP wrote, “Unke ‘Mann ki baat’ kyu sunna, jab Ganga pe terti lasho par bhi khamosh raha.” It loosely translates as “Why should we listen to PM Modi’s monthly radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’ when he is silent on dead bodies floating in the river Ganga?”. The Dalit organisation shared a picture of a dog mauling a human skeleton, along the banks of a water body. At the time of writing, the image was retweeted 167 times and had 463 likes.
By posting the image, the organisation tried to insinuate that it is a recent image showing the mortal remains of a Covid-19 victim whose last rites were not performed. Reports of bodies of Covid victims floating on Ganga river have emerged in the last few days, and All India Parisangh tried to say the image also shows such an incident.
What is the Truth?
It may be noted that the image posted by All India Parisangh has the watermark of Alarmy on it, an stock image platform. Popular Twitter user ‘Befitting Facts’ pointed out that the stock image from Alarmy dates back to February 20, 2008. The disturbing picture was taken by one Dinodia Photos RM and captioned, “Dog eating dead man on Varanasi ghat, Uttar Pradesh in India.” Given the picture dates back to 2008, it must be remembered that the BJP did not have its government at the Centre nor at the State level. And as such, the unfortunate incident is not the result of PM Modi’s negligence.
Earlier, close to 100 unidentified and decomposed bodies were found floating in the Ganga, sparking fear among the locals in several districts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. While 71 bodies were recovered from Bihar’s Buxar district, other 25 bodies were fished from Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur district with locals suspecting them to be the bodies of Covid victims.
After Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, in a horrifying video, at least half a dozen corpses were seen floating in the Runj river in the Panna district of Madhya Pradesh. Buxar police suspected the bodies might have floated from the neighbouring Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh. Authorities of both the districts were yet to confirm if the bodies were of Covid victims. As such, All India Parisangh seized the opportunity and shared a 13-year-old picture to blame the Modi government.
All India Parisangh compared Brahmins to pigs last year
Besides fake news, the Dalit organisation has been at the forefront of peddling Anti-Hindu hatred. It has time and again resorted to such vile derogatory casteist hurls targeting Brahmins, and resorted to the anti-Brahmin propaganda by posting an image of a pig wearing ‘Janeu’ – the sacred thread in July last year.
By openly propagating anti-Brahmin sentiments and comparing Brahmins to ‘pigs’, the Parisangh claimed that the Indian judiciary is only comprised of Brahmins. Expressing its contempt for the country’s judiciary, the Dalit organisation claimed that ‘Brahmin’ judges in the Indian courts only recommended fellow people from the community, who were then selected as judges by the third set of Brahmins. The derogatory comments were not only directed at the Brahmins of the country but also an attack on the independence of the judiciary.
Govt, Admin, Public – All Dropped Guard After First Covid-19 Wave: RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat
After the first wave of COVID-19, the government, administration and public dropped their guard which led to the current situation, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said on Saturday and urged people to stay positive and proactive to fight the pandemic. Addressing a lecture series Positivity Unlimited’, Bhagwat said the country should stay united and work as a team in these testing times, instead of pointing fingers at each other.
“We are facing this situation because, whether it was the government, administration or public, everyone dropped their guard after the first wave despite indications from doctors, he said. Bhagwat said there is talk of a third wave. But, we will not be scared. We shall stand like a rock.
We have to stay positive and take precautions to keep ourselves COVID negative in the present situation, he said. The RSS chief said that this is not an appropriate time to point fingers and all should avoid making irrational remarks.
Citing England’s situation in World War II when everything seemed going against it, Bhagwat said a quote was written on the then prime minister Winston Churchill’s desk which read, “There is no pessimism in this office. We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat. They don’t exist”. Similarly, he said, in this situation we can’t give up on courage. We need to also have steely resolve.
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