Amid the worsening covid crisis in India, FMCG giant ITC on Saturday announced that it has joined hands with Linde India Ltd to air lift 24 cryogenic ISO containers of 20 tonne to help with the transportation of medical oxygen to hospitals. The conglomerate said it is also air lifting large number of oxygen concentrators and oxygen generator machines from neighbouring countries and that its paper production facility in Telangana’s Bhadrachalam had begun supply of oxygen to neighbouring areas.
“To serve the national priority and the government’s effort in easing bottleneck of medical oxygen supply to hospitals, ITC is airfreighting 24 cryogenic ISO containers from Asian countries in collaboration with Linde India Ltd.” the company’s tweet read.
The centre has reportedly assigned Indian Air Force (IAF) planes to help in this operation. The latest move by the FMCG giant comes in light of the worsening covid crisis and acute shortage of medical oxygen in the country. “With the unprecedented emergency caused by the second wave of COVID-19, there has been an exponential rise in demand for medical oxygen, which is the most critical need at this hour to save valuable lives,” the company said.
Reiterating its support for the government in its fight against the pandemic, ITC said it will “continue to explore other avenues to help address the challenges emerging during these trying times”.
Earlier this week the Tata Group made a similar announcement, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi described as a “compassionate gesture”. Separately, the Defence Ministry will also airlift 23 mobile oxygen generating plants from Germany, according to news agency PTI.
Multiple hospitals across the national capital have made frantic appeals for oxygen supply. At Delhi’s Jaipur Golden Hospital, 25 people died Friday night because of a lack of oxygen. This morning Delhi’s Moolchand and Batra hospitals joined the list and red-flagged depleting oxygen reserves by the hour. The country on Saturday logged a record 3,46,786 new infections pushing its coronavirus case tally to 1,66,10,481 during the last 24 hours. India’s Covid-19 death toll stands at 1,89,544.