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By PTI
NEW DELHI: The defence ministry has decided to airlift 23 mobile oxygen generating plants from Germany as several states reeled under an acute shortage of medical oxygen due to a massive surge in coronavirus cases, officials said Friday.

They said each plant will have a capacity to produce 40 litres of oxygen per minute and 2,400 litres every hour.

Principal Spokesperson in the Defence Ministry A Bharat Bhushan Babu said the plants will be deployed in the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) hospitals treating COVID-19 patients.

The decision by the ministry 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 in view of the pandemic.

“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.

He said the oxygen generating plants are expected to be airlifted within a week.

Another official said the Indian Air Force has been told to remain ready to keep its transport aircraft ready to bring the plants from Germany once required paper works are completed.

The official said more oxygen generation plants may be procured from abroad.

“The advantage of these plants is that they are easily portable,” said Babu.

India is struggling with a second wave of coronavirus infection and hospitals in several states are reeling under shortage of medical oxygen and beds in view of rising COVID-19 cases.

India recorded a one-day tally of 3.32 lakh new coronavirus cases and  2,263 new fatalities, according to official data released on Friday.