New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi digitally inaugurated 35 PSA Oxygen Plants in different locations across 35 States and UTs today from AIIMS Rishikesh, Uttarakhand in the presence of Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfareand Chemicals & Fertilizers. Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Gurmit Singh, Governor, Uttarakhand, Pushkar Singh Dhami, Chief Minister, Uttarakhand, Ajay Bhatt, Union Minister-of-State for Defence andTourism, Dr. Dhan Singh Rawat, Health and Medical Education Minister, Govt. of Uttarakhand, Prem Chand Aggarwal, Speaker, Uttarakhand Legislative Assemblywere also present.
Speaking on India’s tryst with COVID-19 crisis, Prime Minister acknowledged it as the crisis of the century. Applauding the vigour and enthusiasm with which India faced the crisis, he said, “Through the efforts of all, from just one lab at the beginning of the pandemic we have now have 3000 testing labs in the country. The Government worked round the clock to boost production and supply of essentials such as N95 masks, PPE kits, ventilators. The movement to become Aatmanirbhar ensured self-sufficiency in all our capacities.” He also mentioned the critical role played by Made-in-India ventilators and the Largest Vaccine Drive undertaken worldwide to combat COVID-19.
The Prime Minister while underscoring India’s journey to manage Medical Oxygen observed, “India’s Oxygen Production Capacity of 900MT has increased more than 10-fold since intervention. The management of production and transportation of Oxygen in the time of crisis on a war footing set an example in itself. Oxygen tankers were flown out, Special Oxygen Express were run, DRDO used the Oxygen Collection technology of Tejas Aircraft to deploy the first Oxygen plants.” He also pointed out that massive work was undertaken thereafter: All districts now have at least 1 PSA plant made available to them; Centre along with the States have commissioned 4000 new Oxygen Plants, 1 lakh concentrators were also installed with a focus on geographically distant areas.
The Prime Minister congratulated all persons associated with the vaccination drive. He expressed his elation that the 100-crore mark will be reached soon. The CoWIN platform, he noted, has scaled up the drive in a geographically diverse country enabling vaccination in mountains-deserts, jungles-plains, sessions for as less as 10 people to those enabling vaccine administration to 10 lakh people. Mentioning the recent efforts to transport vaccines in hard to reach areas by drone, the Prime Minister pointed out the monumentous effort of the Government in vaccinating people of the Terai region.
‘AIIMS in every State’ and ‘Medical College in every District’ were highlighted as the aim of the government. Prime Minister said, “Last mile delivery of healthcare is not possible with the network of AIIMS limited to 6-7 States. Every State should have an AIIMS. TheAyushman Bharat Programme has also helped in easing pressure on Government Hospitals, reducing waitlist of operations while the newly launched Digital Mission will address the menace of lack of medical history.” On the target of opening one medical college in every district, he noted that colleges have been opened in 170 districts.
Prime Minister described Centre-State co-ordination in Uttarakhand as ‘Vikas ka Double Engine’. He congratulated the State on achievements of Vaccinationand outlined the progress of Central schemes being implemented along with the State which will transform the lives of the people.
Mansukh Mandaviya expressed his admiration of the Prime Minister on his completion of two decades of Lok-Seva. He noted, “Two decades of experience as an adept administrator has enabled India to tide over the COVID crisis in which the health system of several western countries exhausted themselves. The Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Package had enabled the poor to evade the ill-effects of public Lockdown Not only the poor, India trusted and acknowledged its scientists to develop, roll-out and systematically administer COVID-19 vaccine across the country.”To contextualize this achievement in the sphere of health, the Union Minister said, “Rotavirus vaccine developed in 2006 came to India in 2014. The Hepatitis-B vaccine after 11 years (1986; 1997), Rabies vaccine developed in 1980 came to India in 1999. We not only developed COVID-19 vaccine ourselves but also ensured wide availability.” Speaking on the inauguration, he expressed his elation that with the inauguration of 35 PSA oxygen plants, 1191 plants will have been made operational in 108 days.