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NEW DELHI--India's federal government has directed states to ensure that liquid oxygen is exclusively used for medical purposes only, officials said Monday.
It has also urged all manufacturing units to maximize the production of liquid oxygen.
"Whereas the central (federal) government has reviewed the oxygen supply situation and has decided that with immediate effect, use of liquid oxygen, including the existing stock will be allowed for medical purposes only, and that all manufacturing units may be allowed to maximize their production of liquid oxygen, and make it available to the government for use of medical purposes only," reads an order issued by the federal home ministry.
The ministry has also withdrawn exceptions to nine industries in order to enhance the availability of medical oxygen in the country.
In wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals across India have been reporting a shortage of oxygen supply and urged the federal government to replenish their stocks.
To cope up with the ongoing crisis, the Indian government is deploying trains and the air force to transport the much-needed oxygen supplies to hard-hit states.
India on Monday morning reported the world's biggest-ever daily surge of COVID-19 cases with 352,991 new cases and 2,812 related deaths in the past 24 hours.