The Indian government on Sunday said that the supply of oxygen meant for industrial use will be diverted to meet the rising demand for medical oxygen in the country amid record Covid-19 cases in the deadly second wave of the pandemic.
A letter from the Indian government to the chief secretaries of all the states read the decision, reports the NDTV.
The move is aimed at plugging the oxygen gap in the country, particularly in high-burden states - Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan, the letter from the Home Secretary's office said.
Nine industries - Ampoules and vials, pharmaceutical, petroleum refineries, steel plants, nuclear energy facilities, oxygen cylinder manufacturers, waste water treatment plants, food and water purification, process industries which require uninterrupted operation of furnaces, processes, however, have been exempted from this prohibition, it said.
Amid India's spiraling coronavirus cases, the demand for medical oxygen in the country has gone through the roof.
There have been reports of shortage of medical oxygen from some states and Union Territories, including Maharashtra and the national capital.