COVID-19: MP CM thanks Railways for oxygen express move

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Bhopal, Apr 18 (PTI) Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday thanked Railway Minister Piyush Goyal for accepting his government's request to run trains to transport medical oxygen in bulk amid a severe spike in COVID-19 cases.

The national transporter, earlier in the day, said it would run 'oxygen express' services over the next few days to transport liquid medical oxygen and oxygen cylinders across the country.

The governments of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra had earlier approached the Railways Ministry to explore whether liquid medical oxygen tankers could be moved by the rail network.

'Heartfelt gratitude to the Railway Minister, Piyush Goyal, who has given consent to run the Oxygen Express at the time of this crisis on the request of Madhya Pradesh. The green corridor of Indian Railways will increase the oxygen supply to the state,' Chouhan said in a tweet.

Earlier in the day, Goyal had tweeted, 'Railways is leaving no stone unturned in the battle against COVID-19. We will be running Oxygen express trains using green corridors to get Oxygen in bulk and rapidly to patients.' Meanwhile, Chouhan also said that supply of oxygen in Madhya Pradesh was 130 metric tonnes on April 8 and it had risen to 280 MT on April 14, 350 MT on April 16, and 390 MT on April 17.

Exuding confidence that oxygen supply would touch 700 MT by April 30, the CM said small oxygen plants were being set up at the district level, while a large number of oxygen concentrators (a medical device that filters surrounding air, and compresses it to deliver purified medical grade oxygen) were also being supplied.

Madhya Pradesh's cumulative COVID-19 caseload stood at 3,95,832 as of April 17 while the overall death toll was 4,491, as per the state health department. PTI ADU BNM NSK NSK