India will airlift 23 mobile oxygen generating plants from Germany to address the oxygen crisis precipitated by the devastating second wave of COVID-19, officials said on Friday.
Each plant will have the capacity to produce 2,400 litres of oxygen per hour, they said.
A Bharat Bhushan Babu, principal spokesperson, Ministry of Defence, said the plants will be deployed in Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) hospitals treating COVID-19 patients.
The ministry’s decision came four days after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced granting emergency financial powers to the three services and other defence agencies to make necessary procurement to enhance medical infrastructure.
“Twenty-three mobile oxygen generation plants are being airlifted from Germany. These will be deployed in AFMS hospitals catering to the COVID patients,” Babu said.
The plants are expected to be airlifted within a week.
The Indian Air Force has been told to keep its transport aircraft ready to bring the plants once paperwork is completed, one official said, adding more plants could be procured from abroad. The IAF has already deployed aircraft to airlift medical personnel, oxygen containers, cylinders, trolleys and essential medicines to places where they are needed.
India set a world record for the most number of daily cases for the second day in a row on Friday. The Union health ministry informed that 3,32,730 new cases and 2,263 deaths were registered in the last 24 hours. Amid the surge 25 critical patients died at Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi while a fire at a COVID-19 facility in Vasai, Maharashtra, claimed 13 lives.