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The First ‘Oxygen Express’ Races Towards Maharashtra Amid Covid Crisis

Posted in Featured, S. Asia

Published on April 22, 2021 with No Comments

“Each tanker has been loaded with 15 tonnes of LMO (liquid medical oxygen) and the train started to move towards Maharashtra in the evening,” the railways said.

India’s “Oxygen Express” train made a first run today from Visakhapatnam to Maharashtra, where COVID-19 cases have been rising fast and hospitals have been gasping for oxygen supply to treat critical patients. The train carrying large oxygen tankers left the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) facility at Visakhapatnam this evening.

“Seven empty tankers from… Maharashtra reached at Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited, Visakhapatnam early morning today. Liquid medical oxygen (LMO) has been filled in the tankers since morning,” the railways said in a statement.

“Each tanker has been loaded with 15 tonnes of LMO and the train started to move towards Maharashtra in the evening. A joint effort by Waltair Division of East Coast Railways, and officials of RINL made the project a success. This will prove to be highly beneficial during the recent upsurge in COVID-19,” the railways said.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted a video of the train preparing to pull out from the RINL facility.

“The first ‘Oxygen Express’ train loaded with liquid medical oxygen tankers has left for Maharashtra from Vizag. Railways continues to serve the nation in difficult times by transporting essential commodities and driving innovation to ensure the wellbeing of all citizens,” Mr Goyal tweeted.

The railways will run the “Oxygen Express” train from steel plants that produce oxygen to different parts of the country.

“Railways transported essential commodities and kept the supply chain intact even during the lockdown last year and continue to serve the nation in times of emergencies. This time movement of ‘Oxygen Express’ towards different parts of the country will help patients and different hospitals,” the railways said, adding General Manager Vidya Bhusan congratulated the Waltair team led by Divisional Railway Manager Chetan Srivastava for carrying out the task.

The surge in Covid cases in recent weeks have led to what is now being called a deadlier second wave of the pandemic. Social media is full of stories of desperate people trying to find oxygen or a hospital bed for their friends and family.

More and more people this time are complaining of breathlessness, which needs oxygen support. However, the supply of oxygen has become severely limited due to the sudden jump in demand across cities and towns.

People have gone to social media to coordinate help, while state governments and the centre are also working to arrange oxygen faster with the help of the private sector.

 

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