Covid-19: These three sectors exempted from Centre's ban on non-medical use of liquid oxygen

NEW DELHI: A day after putting a ban on the use of liquid oxygen for non-medical purposes, the government on Monday allowed three sectors — ampules and vials, pharmaceutical and defense forces — to use the commodity.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla had on Sunday imposed a ban on the use of liquid oxygen for non-medical purposes, amid a scarcity of medical oxygen in many parts of the country, particularly in Delhi, that has been hit by a fresh wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to states and Union Territories on Monday, Bhalla said that three sectors — ampules and vials; pharmaceutical and defense forces — have now been exempted from the ban order.

The Central government has taken a number of steps to deal with the medical oxygen crisis in some parts of the country due to the increasing demand as the second wave of coronavirus engulfed several states.

The central government is trying to source oxygen from different parts of the country and making it available in the worst-hit states by running special trains.

It is also getting cryogenic tanks from countries like Singapore and the UAE to transport oxygen, and sourcing oxygen concentrators from the United States.