PM reviews Army’s preparedness & initiatives for Covid management


Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.

They discussed various initiatives being taken by the Army to help in Covid management.

General MM Naravane informed the PM that medical staff of the Army is being made available to various state governments. He also briefed the PM that Army is setting up temporary hospitals in various parts of the country.

General MM Naravane apprised the PM that Army is opening up its hospitals for civilans wherever possible. He also added that citizens can approach their nearest army hospitals.

General MM Naravane informed the PM that the Army is helping with manpower for imported  Oxygen tankers and vehicles where specialised skills are required to manage them.

Oxygen Express Operations expand to Haryana & Telangana


Oxygen Express Operations of Indian Railways continued to bring relief to the States as its operations expanded to the States of Haryana & Telangana after Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi.

Continuing the momentum, there are three more trains on the run either carrying Liquid Oxygen or on the way to the loading plants. It is expected that cumulative liquid medical oxygen (LMO) carried by Indian railways will reach almost 640 MT in next 24 hrs.

Uttar Pradesh received its Oxygen express no. 5 carrying 76.29 MT of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) today in 5 tankers. 1 Tanker was offloaded in Varanasi while remaining 4 tankers are offloaded in Lucknow. Train no. 6 is already on its way to Lucknow and is expected to arrive tomorrow i.e. 30 Apr 2021 carrying 33.18 MT LMO in 4 tankers. Another empty rake is expected to leave Lucknow today for bringing next set of oxygen tankers.

Haryana will receive its first Oxygen express as a train with two tankers is expected to leave Angul (Orissa) today. Empty rake from Faridabad to Rourkela is also on its way and is expected to reach tonight. Continuous stream of Oxygen trains to Haryana will ensure oxygen replenishment to the Covid-19 patients in the state.

Telangana Govt. has also requested Indian Railways for Oxygen express. An empty rake is on its way from Secunderabad to Angul with 5 empty tankers and is expected to reach Angul tomorrow.

Railways is in full preparedness for providing oxygen transportation services to all the states in need. In the ongoing operation, States provide tankers to the Railways. Railways then proceeds in fastest feasible mode to bring the Oxygen supplies from the locations and delivers it the requisitioning State. The deployment and use of this Oxygen is done by the State Government.

Liquid Oxygen being a cryogenic cargo has many limitations like maximum speed at which it can be carried, maximum acceleration & deceleration and loading restrictions like availability of liquid oxygen tankers and loading ramps etc. Route mapping also takes care of the maximum clearances available along the route (because of various RUBs and FOBs).

1 Lakh Portable Oxygen Concentrators to be procured from PM CARES fund


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sanctioned the procurement of 1 Lakh Portable Oxygen Concentrators from the PM Cares Fund

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to discuss the measures needed to improve Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) Supply for COVID management. PM instructed that these Oxygen Concentrators should be procured at the earliest & provided in states with high case burden.

In addition to the earlier sanctioned 713 PSA plants under PM Cares Fund, 500 new Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen plants have been sanctioned under PM CARES Fund.

The PSA plants will augment the supply of Liquid Medical Oxygen at hospitals in district headquarters and Tier 2 cities. These 500 PSA plants will be established with transfer of the indigenous technology developed by DRDO and CSIR to the domestic manufacturers.

Establishing PSA plants and procurement of portable oxygen concentrators will greatly augment the supply of oxygen near the demand clusters, thereby addressing the current logistical challenges in transporting oxygen from plants to hospitals.

Prime Minister’s telephonic Conversation with President Putin


Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke on telephone today with President of the Russian Federation H.E. Vladimir Putin.

The leaders discussed the evolving Covid-19 pandemic situation. President Putin expressed solidarity with the people and government of India and conveyed that Russia would extend all possible support in this regard. Prime Minister Modi thanked President Putin and noted that the prompt Russian support to India was a symbol of our enduring partnership.

The two leaders noted the ongoing cooperation between the two countries to fight the global pandemic. Approval for emergency use of Sputnik-V vaccine in India was appreciated by President Putin. The leaders noted that the Russian vaccine will be manufactured in India for use in India, Russia and third countries.

Both leaders attached importance to further deepening bilateral cooperation in various sectors in the spirit of our special and privileged partnership. Prime Minister Modi conveyed appreciation for the support received from Russia for India’s Gaganyaan Program and the completion of the Russian phase of training of the four Gaganyaan astronauts.

The leaders noted the scope for increasing cooperation in the area of renewable energy, including the Hydrogen economy.

The leaders decided to establish a new 2+2 dialogue at Minister level comprising Foreign and Defence Ministers from both countries.

The two leaders recalled the important decisions taken during their last Summit meeting in Vladivostok in September 2019. Prime Minister Modi conveyed that he looks forward to President Putin’s visit to India later this year for the Bilateral Summit which would provide an occasion to continue their personal and trusted conversation. President Putin assured the Prime Minister of Russia’s full support for the success of India’s Presidency of BRICS during 2021. The two leaders agreed to remain in close touch on bilateral and international issues.

PM reviews Covid related operations by Indian Air Force


Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.

He briefed the PM on the efforts being undertaken by IAF to help in the Cover-19 related situation.

Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria informed the Prime Minister that the IAF has ordered 24×7 readiness of the entire heavy lift fleet and substantial numbers of the medium lift fleets to operate in a hub and spoke model to rapidly meet all Covid related tasking across the country and overseas. Aircrew for all fleets have been augmented to ensure round the clock operations.

PM stressed on the need to increase the speed, scale & safety of operations in transporting oxygen tankers & other essential material. PM spoke about the need to ensure that the IAF personnel engaged in Covid related operations remain safe from infection. He also spoke about the need to ensure safety of all Covid related operations.

Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria informed the that IAF is deploying big as well as medium sized aircrafts to cover all terrains. He briefed the PM about a dedicated COVID Air Support Cell set up by the IAF to ensure faster co-ordination with different ministries and agencies to Covid related operations.

PM inquired about the health of IAF personnel and their families. Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria apprised him that near saturation vaccination coverage has been achieved in the IAF.

He also informed the PM that hospitals under IAF have increased covid facilities and also allowing civilians wherever possible.

Fertilizer companies to supply 50 Metric Tons (MT) of medical oxygen per day for COVID patients


Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways (I/C) and Chemical & Fertilizers, Shri Mansukh Mandaviya,  chaired a meeting to explore possibility of production of oxygen in their plants, with fertilizers companies of Public Sector, Private Sector as well as Co-Operative sector.

Shri Mandaviya  called upon the fertilizer companies to help the society during this pandemic time by reorienting their existing capacity of oxygen production & augmenting the supply of medical grade oxygen to the hospitals. The Fertilizer companies welcomed the initiative of MoS and readily shown interest to join the efforts of Government of India to fight COVID -19 situation in the country. The outcome of the meeting is as follows;

  • IFFCO is putting up an oxygen plant with capacity of 200 cubic meters per hour in its KALOL unit in Gujarat and their total capacity would be 33,000 cubic meters per day.
  • GSFC made small modification in their plants and started supplying liquid oxygen.
  • GNFC has also started supply of liquid oxygen for medical purpose after starting of air separation unit.
  • GSFS & GNFC has already started process to enhance their oxygen production capacities.
  • The other fertilizer companies will set up medical plants in hospitals/plants at selected locations in the country through CSR funding.

Altogether it is expected that approximately 50 Metric Tons (MT) of medical oxygen per day can be made available for COVID patients by the  fertilizer Plants. These steps will augment the medical grade oxygen supply to hospitals in the country in the coming days.

DRDO to set up 500 Medical Oxygen Plants within three months under PM CARES Fund


The Medical Oxygen Plant (MOP) technology, developed by DRDO for On‐Board Oxygen Generation for LCA, Tejas by DEBEL, DRDO will now help in fighting the current crisis of oxygen for COVID-19 patients. The oxygen plant is designed for a capacity of 1,000 litres per minute (LPM). The system can cater to 190 patients at a flow rate of 5 LPM and charge 195 cylinders per day. Transfer of Technology has been done to M/s Tata Advanced Systems Limited, Bengaluru and M/s Trident Pneumatics Pvt. Ltd., Coimbatore, who will be producing 380 plants for installation across various hospitals in the country. 120 plants of 500 LPM capacity will be produced by industries working with Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun, belonging to CSIR.

Oxygen is a very important clinical gas in health care centres and hospitals for treatment of COVID‐19 Patients. Medical Oxygen Plant (MOP) technology is capable of generating oxygen with 93±3% concentration which can be directly supplied to hospital beds or can be used to fill medical oxygen cylinders. It utilizes Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) technique and Molecular Sieve (Zeolite) technology to generate oxygen directly from atmospheric air.

The MOP technology will be useful to provide oxygen supply during Corona Pandemic in hospitals in urban and rural areas. Hospitals will be able to generate on site medical oxygen, in a cost-effective manner with this oxygen plant rather than depending upon sourcing it from other places.

The installation of this plant helps in avoiding hospital dependency on scarce oxygen cylinders especially at high altitude and inaccessible remote areas. MOP has already been installed at some of the Army sites in North East and Leh-Ladakh region. The plant complies with International Standards like ISO 1008, European, US and Indian Pharmacopeia. Site preparation for 5 plants to be installed in Delhi/NCR region has already been initiated.

The DRDO has initiated fabrication of 380 numbers of Medical Oxygen Plants with release of Supply Orders for 332 numbers on M/s Tata Advanced Systems Limited, Bengaluru and 48 numbers on M/s Trident Pneumatics Pvt. Ltd., Coimbatore with a target of producing 125 plants per month under PM CARES Fund. With this it is expected that 500 Medical Oxygen Plants will be installed within three months.

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has appreciated DRDO for using the MOP technology to generate much needed oxygen for COVID-19 patients which will help in overcoming the present crisis. Secretary Department of Defence R&D & Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy has assured the support of DRDO for use of the technology by hospitals and other health agencies.

PM chairs a high-level meeting to review the Covid-19 related situation in the country


PM Narendra Modi chaired a meeting with top officials to review the Covid-19 relation situation in the country. He got an overview on the situation in the country relating to oxygen availability, medicines, health infrastructure, etc.

The Empowered Group working on boosting Oxygen Supply briefed the Prime Minister on the efforts being made to ramp up availability and supply of oxygen in the country. They informed the PM about increasing allocation of Oxygen to states. It was discussed that the production of LMO in the country has increased from 5700 MT/day in August 2020 to the present 8922 MT (on 25th April 2021). The domestic production of LMO is expected to cross 9250 MT/day by the end of April 2021.

PM instructed the officials to work closely with state governments to start the PSA Oxygen plants at the earliest. Officers also apprised the PM that they are encouraging states to also set up PSA Oxygen plants.

PM was briefed about the functioning of the Oxygen Express Railways Service as well as the domestic sorties & international sorties undertaken by IAF to transport oxygen tankers.

The Empowered Group working on Medical Infrastructure and Covid management briefed the PM on efforts being undertaken to ramp up availability of beds and ICUs. They informed the PM on efforts being break the chain of transmission. PM stressed on the need to ensure that specific guidelines and strategies evolved regarding Covid management needs to be properly implemented by the relevant agencies in the States.

The Empowered Group working on communication informed the PM on the efforts being undertaken to improve awareness among people on Covid-related behaviour.

Cabinet Secretary,  Home Secretary, Secretary RT&H, Secretary I&B, Secretary Pharmaceuticals, Member NITI Aayog, DG ICMR, Secretary Biotechnology & other senior officers were present in the meeting.

Raksha Mantri approves temporary hiring of additional contractual staff in 51 high pressure ECHS polyclinics


Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has approved temporary hiring of additional contractual staff over and above the authorisation in 51 identified high pressure Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) polyclinics across the country to tide over the current COVID-19 crisis. The contractual staff, including one each of Medical Officer, Nursing Assistant, Pharmacist, Driver and Chowkidar for identified ECHS polyclinics, will be hired through Station Headquarters for night duty, beyond normal working hours, for a period of three months.

The high pressure ECHS polyclinics to be covered are in Lucknow, Delhi Cantt (BHDC), Bangalore (Urban), Dehradun, Kotputli, Amritsar, Meerut, Chandigarh, Jammu, New Delhi (Lodhi Road), Secunderabad, Agra, Ambala, Greater Noida, Gurdaspur, Pune, Trivandrum, Jalandhar, Kanpur, Gurgaon, Gurgaon (Sohana Rd), Hoshiarpur, Mohali, Chandimandir, Allahabad, Ghaziabad (Hindon), Pathankot, Jodhpur, Ludhiana, Ropar, Tarantaran/Patti, Kolkata, Danapur (Patna), Khadki (Pune), Palampur, Bareilly, Kolhapur, Yol, South Pune (Lohegaon), Vishakapatnam, Jaipur, Guntur, Barrackpore, Chennai, Gorakhpur, Patiala, Noida, Bhopal, Kochi, Vellore and Ranchi.

The move will ensure availability of immediate medical attention even during night hours to acute cases in these areas to the veterans and their dependents. The validity of this sanction is up to August 15, 2021.

Prime Minister’s telephone conversation with President Biden


Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephone conversation today with His Excellency Joseph R. Biden, President of the United States of America.

The two leaders discussed the COVID-19 situation in their respective countries, including India’s ongoing efforts to contain the second wave of COVID-19 through expedited vaccination efforts, and ensuring supply of critical medicines, therapeutics and healthcare equipment.

President Biden conveyed solidarity with India and affirmed that the United States was determined to support India’s efforts by quickly deploying resources such as  therapeutics, ventilators and identifying sources of raw materials to be made available for the manufacture of Covishield vaccines.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed his heartfelt appreciation for the offer of assistance and support from the Government of the United States of America. He mentioned India’s commitment to contain the COVID-19 pandemic globally through Vaccine Maitri, and its participation in COVAX and the Quad Vaccine Initiatives. The Prime Minister underscored the need to ensure smooth and open supply chains of raw materials and inputs required for manufacture of vaccines, medicines, and therapeutics related to COVID-19.

Both leaders underlined the potential of the India-US partnership in vaccine development and supply to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and directed their respective officials to maintain close coordination and cooperation in their efforts in this domain.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also informed President Biden about India’s initiative at the WTO for a relaxation in the norms of the Agreement on TRIPS to ensure quick and affordable access to vaccines and medicines for developing countries.

The two leaders agreed to remain in regular touch.

PM reviews preparations by Armed Forces to assist in Covid management


The Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat today called on the Prime Minister. They reviewed the preparations and operations being undertaken by the Armed Forces to deal with the pandemic.

The CDS briefed the PM that all medical personnel from armed forces who have retired or taken pre-mature retirement in the last 2 years are being recalled to work in Covid facilities within proximity of their present place of residence. Other medical officers who retired earlier have also been requested to make their services available for consultation through medical emergency help lines.

PM was also informed that all medical officers on staff appointments at Command HQ, Corps HQ, Division HQ & similar HQ of Navy and Air-Force will be employed at hospitals.

The CDS informed the PM that nursing personnel are being employed in large numbers to complement the doctors at the hospitals. PM was also briefed that oxygen cylinders available with armed forces in various establishments will be released for hospitals.

The CDS also said that they are creating medical facilities in large numbers and where possible military medical infrastructure will be made available to civilians.

PM also reviewed the operations being undertaken by IAF to transport oxygen and other essentials in India and abroad.

PM also discussed with the CDS that Kendriya and Rajya Sainik Welfare Boards and Officers posted in various headquarters in veterans cells may be instructed to coordinate the services of veterans to extend the reach to maximum extent possible including in remote areas.

Phone call between PM Modi and PM of Japan


rime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had a phone call today with His Excellency Suga Yoshihide, Prime Minister of Japan.

The two leaders discussed the COVID-19 situation in the respective country and exchanged views on various regional and global challenges posed by the pandemic. They highlighted the importance of close India-Japan cooperation to overcome these challenges, such as by working together to create resilient, diversified and trustworthy supply chains, ensuring reliable supply of critical materials and technologies, and developing new partnerships in manufacturing and skill development. In this context, the two leaders emphasized the need for early operationalization of the Specified Skilled workers (SSW) agreement in order to synergize their strengths and achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. They also highlighted the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) project as a shining example of their cooperation and welcomed the steady progress in its execution.

The two leaders appreciated the support and facilitation provided to resident citizens in each other’s country during the COVID-19 pandemic, and agreed to continue such coordination.

Prime Minister Modi also thanked Prime Minister Suga for providing assistance to India for combating the pandemic. He also expressed hope that he would be able to receive Prime Minister Suga in India at the earliest in the near future once the COVID-19 situation stabilizes.