Southern states have figured prominently on India’s oxygen express map lately , with deliveries of liquid medical oxygen to Andhra Pradesh , Tamil Nadu and Karnataka having spiked the foremost sharply over the last four days.
Oxygen expresses, the special trains crisscrossing the country to ferry medical oxygen for patients of Covid-19, delivered their highest-ever single-day load of quite 1,142 tonnes on Sunday — beating the previous record of 1,118 tonnes on May 20.
Between April 19, when the primary oxygen express rolled, and Monday, the Railways have delivered 16,023 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen in additional than 977 tankers aboard 247 trains.
From delivering emergency supplies to Delhi and Mumbai at the start of the second wave, the oxygen expresses have reached 15 states over the past month because the virus has spread to India’s vast rural hinterland.
More than half the entire supply — 8,249 tonnes until Monday — has been to Delhi and Uttar Pradesh . On Saturday, Assam received 80 tonnes on one oxygen express rake.
he biggest spike in supply recently has been seen in Andhra Pradesh , which had received a cumulative 292 tonnes until Thursday (May 20). On Monday, this number had jumped to 730 tonnes, a rise of 150 per cent.
Tamil Nadu had received 1,024 tonnes until Monday, a 75 per cent increase since Thursday. Karnataka had received 1,063 tonnes, a 66 per cent increase over receipts of 640 tonnes of oxygen until Thursday.
Telangana had received 772 tonnes until Thursday; at the top of Monday, that number had increased by 26 per cent to 976 tonnes.
Kerala, a state with no major oxygen shortage, had received six tankers carrying 118 tonnes until Thursday. Four days later, that number was 246 tonnes, a 108 per cent increase.
“Since the active caseload in southern states has been rising, stretching the capacity of (oxygen) plants therein region, we’ve diverted tons of oxygen to those states,” said a senior government official involved within the operation.
While the primary oxygen express last month carried supplies of the lifesaving gas to Mumbai from the Visakhapatnam steel mill , Maharashtra has thus far required just 614 tonnes — the understanding is that the demand could also be plateauing within the state.
Between April 27 and Monday, Delhi had received 4,600 tonnes; a rise of 17 per cent since Thursday. Uttar Pradesh with 3,649 tonnes is second in terms of volumes of gas received. Haryana had received 1,759 tonnes by Monday, up 17 per cent since Thursday. Over the past one month, the majority of the oxygen has come to those three states.
Most of the oxygen is being picked up from Hapa, Baroda, and Mundra within the west, and Rourkela, Durgapur, Tatanagar, and Angul within the east of the country. With the looming threat from cyclone Yaas in the week , the govt has made plans to make sure uninterrupted power to the plants, and worked on alternative routes for the expresses, should the regular routes be affected, sources said.