New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday directed all the states to take strict action against hoarders of concentrated oxygen cylinders.
The Prime Minister's direction came when he was addressing the nation after launching the eighth installment of financial benefits worth Rs 19,000 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme to benefit more than 9.5 crore farmers that includes first-time beneficiaries in West Bengal.
The Prime Minister expressed dissatisfaction against these hoarders for their indulgence in such acts at a time when even Indian Armed forces comprising all its three divisions-- the Indian Army, the Indian Navy, and the Indian Air Force -- have been engaged to serve the human being amid Covid-19 crisis.
"Our three armed forces are trying to serve the needy and oxygen trains are continuously dispatching oxygen cylinders amid the Covid crisis. But there are a number of people who are involved in hoarding of oxygen. States should take strict action against such people," Modi said.
Despite the acute shortage of concentrated oxygen in various states, several people have been caught hoarding the supply of the life-saving gas.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister also warned the people residing in villages to be very alert and follow all Covid-19 measures without fail to avoid the spread of the deadly disease.
Modi appealed to the villagers as well as those united with Gram Panchayats to spread awareness among others in the village to use "mask, take seriously to each symptom of Covid, go for Covid test, follow precautions until Covid report comes negative, and administer the vaccine".
"People's participation is essential to defeat Covid-19," Modi said.
The cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country is nearly 18 crore (17.93 Crore, said the Union Health Ministry's latest report received on Friday morning.
It said that the Covid-19 vaccination drive has successfully completed 118 days wherein 17.89 Crore doses have been administered to the identified beneficiaries through collaborative efforts of all states and UTs. India is the fastest country globally to reach the 17 crore target in 114 days. USA took 115 days and China took 119 days to administer the same amount of doses.