stepped up their efforts to assist the civil administration
across the country in tackling the current COVID-19 situation
by deploying aircraft, warships and medical resources, the
Centre told the Gujarat High Court on Monday.
On the request of the Gujarat government seeking
higher allocation of medical oxygen, the Centre said as far as
the distribution of medical oxygen is concerned the Supreme
Court has set up a National Task Force for the same.
The Union government filed a reply before the division
bench of the high court Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice
Bhargav D Karia which is hearing a suo motu (on its own) PIL
on the COVID-19 situation in Gujarat.
The HC had directed the Union government to file a
reply on the status of the efforts undertaken by it to
mitigate the COVID-19 crisis.
On the supply of Remdesivir injections, the Centre
stated it released on May 7 an updated allocation plan, valid
for the period between April 21 and May 16, as per which
Gujarat gets 4.19 lakh vials.
Apprising the bench about efforts undertaken by the
Centre in tackling the COVID-19 surge, it said the Department
of Space, as well as the public sector oil and gas companies,
have also come forward to assist the government.
The Indian Navy has augmented manpower at Dhanvantri
COVID Care Hospital in Ahmedabad by adding 90 personnel,
taking the total number of personnel deployed by it at the
hospital to 169, the bench was told.
The Centre said all these personnel are "experienced
in their respective specialisations andwell versed with the
Covid care protocols".
Even the Ahmedabad-based Space Application Centre
(SAC) of ISRO has converted two liquid nitrogen tanks of about
1.65 lakhs litres into liquid oxygen tanks for storage and
supply in hospitals in Ahmedabad and nearby areas. The SAC is
also supplying face shields and PPE kits, it said.
The Indian Navy has stepped up its COVID relief
operation and deployed nine warships as part of ''Operation
Samudra Setu II'' from all three Naval Commands in Mumbai,
Visakhapatnam and Kochi for the shipment of Liquid Medical
Oxygen (LMO) and associated medical equipment from friendly
foreign countries in the Persian Gulf and South-East Asia, the
".....The Indian Army has deployed "considerable
medical resources" to assist civil authorities in Delhi,
Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Varanasi and Patna," it said.
The Centre further told the high court that as on May
7, C-17 aircraft of the Indian Air Force conducted 400 sorties
within the country, including 351 to airlift 252 oxygen
tankers of the total capacity of 4,904 Metric Tonnes (MT).
The cities covered included Jamnagar, Bhopal,
Chandigarh, Panagarh, Indore, Ranchi, Agra, Jodhpur, Begumpet,
Bhubaneswar, Pune, Surat, Raipur, Udaipur, Mumbai, Lucknow,
Nagpur, Gwalior, Vijayawada, Vadodara, Dimapur and Hindan, it
The Centre said the IAF aircraft also conducted 59
international sorties to airlift 72 cryogenic oxygen storage
containers of the total 1,233 MT capacity along with 1,252
empty oxygen cylinders.
These containers and cylinders were procured from
Singapore, Dubai, Bangkok, UK, Germany, Belgium and Australia.
"In addition, the C-17 and IL-76 aircraft have been
tasked to airlift cryogenic oxygen containers, oxygen
generators and ventilators from Israel and Singapore," the
bench was told.
The Centre further said the public sector oil and gas
companies are setting up about 100 Pressure Swing Adsorption
(PSA) medical oxygen generation plants in public health
facilities in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Goa, Kerala,
Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and
Delhi, with the entire expenditure to be borne by these
companies from their CSR fund.
The Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers and
the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had on May 7 made a
fresh plan for the allocation of 53 lakh vials of remdesivir
between April 21 and May 16, with Gujarat getting 4.19 lakh
vials, the fourth highest after Maharashtra (11.57 lakh),
Karnataka (5.75 lakh) and Uttar Pradesh (4.95 lakh).
The next hearing will be held on Tuesday. PTI KA PD