India is on the brink of a health emergency with Covid-19 cases mounting pan-India. In the last 24 hours, the country has witnessed the highest ever single day spike of 2.73 L new cases and 1, 619 deaths. With the rapid increase in infections, the total number of active cases now stands at 19 L. Meanwhile, the number of people that have been vaccinated against Covid-19 include 12,38,52, 566. Even as states impose several curbs including weekend lockdown and night curfew, hospitals and medical centers across the country are witnessing shortage of beds, ICUs, vaccines, oxygen and Remdesevir, leading to calls for help.
Committed to the mission of public service, here are a few steps we suggest that can be done on a priority basis. With the consumption of medical oxygen is at running full in high burden states, India is currently witnessing an Oxygen crisis. Moreover, there is an acute problem in Rural areas, where there are no large storage tanks in small nursing homes, and largely depend on daily supply of oxygen cylinders. These take atleast 3-5 to 6-8 days or even a longer time to reach remote locations.
One primary solution is that India should walk the path of self reliance and install PSA plants in identified 100 hospitals to manufacture own oxygen. Hospitals should set up huge storage tanks that last atleast 10 days. Trains should be used to transport oxygen and save time. Furthermore, all surplus oxygen from Iron and steel plants should be diverted to medical use.
Similarly, to resolve the Remdesivir debacle, the Centre should slash down the prices of Remdesivir to increase accessibility and combat black marketing. There should also be stringent monitoring of the sale of Remdesivir injections.