With hundreds of Covid-19 patients gasping for breath due to shortage of medical oxygen at hospitals across states, the central government on Thursday formulated a plan under which the PM-Cares Fund would be used to set up medical oxygen manufacturing units at 100 hospitals so that they become self-reliant.

Medical oxygen is a critical component in the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the central 'Empowered Group-2' on Covid-19. During the meeting, the group took three key decisions to create short and long-term availability of medical oxygen in the country.

These were:

. Mapping of 12 high burden states to oxygen sources
100 new hospitals to have their own oxygen plant under PM-Cares Fund
. 50,000 metric tonnes of medical oxygen to be imported.
. The central Empowered Group-2 was constituted in March last year to ensure availability of medical equipment, including medical oxygen to states affected by the pandemic.

Consumption of medical oxygen is mostly higher in states with high Covid-19 cases like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, and Rajasthan.
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