War-footing efforts against Covid-19 to yield results in days: ASSOCHAM

New Delhi: War-footing national efforts underway by scaling up vaccination through domestic production and duty- free imports and airlifting of oxygen by IAF and special oxygen trains would strengthen India’s fight against coronavirus, ASSOCHAM has said.

Welcoming waiver of customs and other levels on import of vaccines, oxygen and the related equipment and machinery, ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr Deepak Sood said, “The efforts mounted by the government, industry under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi should help ease the situation with regard to oxygen availability and scaling up of the vaccination drive”.

He said the involvement of the Indian Air Force, Railways, and the Army in the joint operations for making available oxygen to hospitals overwhelmed with Covid 19 patients should see the situation turn better in the days to come.

”The industry has responded, putting human lives first to the national call of jacking up oxygen supply. They are making their own modest contribution by way of diverting industrial oxygen for medical use, helping the authorities to import and set up oxygen generating plants. We are faced with a situation where the best of efforts is less, but it is only through a strong response that we can overcome the challenge,” he said.

Mr Sood said with lowering of vaccination age to 18 years, it is imperative to scale up vaccine supply. With approval of several vaccine candidates to manufacture and/or import vaccines, the logistics and medical infrastructure is being readied for increased demand for inoculation.

He said, ”faster and wider vaccination coverage is the most effective way to defeat the pandemic,” and the country’s existing and new capabilities have to be utilised to the maximum for making every Indian safe and healthy. ” It is only through healthy Indians we can aspire for being the front-ranking economy of the world,”.

The ASSOCHAM Secretary General also welcomed extension of various timelines by the income tax authorities for different aspects like assessments and reassessments.