Shortage of oxygen: Rajasthan starts new plant in Alwar, airlifts cylinders from Gujarat

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Jaipur, Apr 27 (PTI) A new oxygen plant has been set up in Rajasthan's Alwar district to deal with a nearly five-fold increase in demand for the life-saving gas amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in the state, officials said on Tuesday.

The requirement of oxygen cylinders has reached 31,425 a day from 6,500 three months ago, they said, adding oxygen tankers were airlifted from Jamnagar in Gujarat to deal with the emergency.

Health Secretary Siddharth Mahajan said a Hindustan Zinc Limited plant with a capacity to fill 1,200 cylinders a day will become operational in Dariba of Rajsamand district by next week.

The new plant in Alwar has the capacity to generate oxygen for 1,000 cylinders in a day.

'All possible measures are being taken and arrangements are being made by the state government (to deal with the situation) on war footing,” he said.

He said that GPS has been installed in oxygen tankers to ensure timely supply and for monitoring their movement.

The officer said that the supply of oxygen is restricted to health centres and cylinders used in industrial works have been acquired and made available for medical purpose.

'State officials have been deployed to supervise oxygen generation plants,” he added.

Rajasthan witnessed record numbers of daily infections and deaths in the past few days as the country faces a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday, the state recorded 84 deaths and 16,438 cases -- its highest single-day figures. PTI SDA MGA SMN