The biggest single-day delivery of 718 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen in 41 tankers is being carried out across the country today by the special Oxygen Express trains, the centre said.
Uttar Pradesh is the biggest recipient at 222 metric tonnes, while Haryana will get 180 tonnes, it added.
Amid a rapid surge in coronavirus cases during the virulent second wave, the demand for medical oxygen in the country has gone up many times.
To plug the gaps in supply, the centre had earlier diverted oxygen meant for industries for medical use in the country amid depleting reserves of the critical component in the treatment of Covid patients.
There have been multiple reports across states of people dying for lack of oxygen and beds. At least 40 people have died in Delhi in recent days due to hospitals’ inability to provide timely oxygen.
Scores of people are complaining of breathlessness, requiring oxygen support. However, the supply of oxygen has become severely limited due to the sudden jump in demand across cities and towns.
The Railways has delivered 2,960 tonnes of medical oxygen to states across the country since April 19 in 185 tankers, the national transporter said on Friday. Forty-seven Oxygen Express trains have completed their journey so far, it added.
Earlier, the Railway Ministry was approached by Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra to explore if liquid medical oxygen tankers could be moved by the rail network.
A Green Corridor has also been channeled for fast movement of Oxygen Express trains, said Railways. The trains are being run from steel plants that produce oxygen to different parts of the country.
India’s Oxygen Express train made its first run on April 22 from Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh to Nagpur in Maharashtra.