MHA writes to states for free supply of Medical Oxygen in country amid lockdown

The Secretary, Ministry of Home affairs, Mr. Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Monday has written a letter to the all the states on keeping the supply of medical oxygen smooth and hassle-free across country amid the outbreak of pandemic COVID-19.

The letter says that there is a critical need to maintain adequate supply of medical oxygen in the country in the wake of COVID-19 Pandemic and as medical oxygen is also included in the national list and WHO's list of essential medicines.

The letter also referred to the consolidated guidelines issued timely by Ministry of Home Affairs on the lockdown measures to be taken by Ministries/ Departments of Government of India,State/Union Territory Governments and State/ Union Territory Authorities for containment of COVID-19 epidemic in the country, on 24th of March and further modified on subsequent dates.

The Home Secretary has reiterated and clarified the exceptions under various clauses of the consolidated guidelines on lockdown measures include the following:

  • All manufacturing units of Medical Oxygen Gas/Liquid, Medical Oxygen Cylinders, Cryogenic Tanks for storing liquid Oxygen, Liquid cryogenic Cylinders, Liquid Oxygen Cryogenic Transport Tanks, Ambient vaporisers & Cryogenic valves, cylinder valves & accessories;
  • Transportation of above items;
  • Cross land border movement of above items;
  • Workers of above mentioned manufacturing units and their transportation should be allowed/ given passes to travel from their homes to factories & back to ensure factories are run on full installed capacity.

The letter emphasized upon the social distancing and proper hygiene practices which are to be ensured in the above mentioned activities as specified in the lockdown measures. Thereafter, the secretary stated that it will be the responsibility of the head of the organization/establishment, District authorities and field agencies to ensure compliance of such norms with reference to the supply of medical oxygen.

-India Legal Bureau