Millennium Post (Kolkata)

‘Make rational use of medical oxygen, ensure no wastage’

Present availabili­ty of oxygen is sufficient, says Union Health ministry


NEW DELHI: The Centre on Thursday asked states to make rational use of medical oxygen and ensure there is no wastage while stressing that there is sufficient stock of oxygen in the country.

Medical oxygen is a critical component in the treatment of COVID-19 affected patients. An inter-ministeria­l Empowered Group (EG2) of officers was constitute­d during the COVID pandemic in March 2020 to ensure the availabili­ty of essential medical equipment including medical oxygen to the affected states, the Union health ministry said.

Along with the ramped up production of the oxygen manufactur­ing units and the surplus stocks available, the present availabili­ty of oxygen is sufficient, the ministry said.

Besides, states have been asked to set up control rooms to ensure smooth supply of oxygen to the districts according to need and review requiremen­t of cylinders, tankers etc. the ministry said in a statement.

A detailed daily mapping of sources for supply of medical oxygen to the affected states is under preparatio­n to ensure uninterrup­ted oxygen supply, it said.

The exercise will be carried out on the basis of detailed daily deliberati­ons between officers of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, health ministry, steel ministry, various critically affected states, Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisati­on, along with key stakeholde­rs including representa­tives from oxygen manufactur­ers, All India Industrial Gas Manufactur­ers Associatio­n according to the directions of the interminis­terial Empowered Group (EG2), it added.

"It is pertinent to note that there is sufficient production capacity of around 7127 MTs for oxygen in the country, and as per need, the surplus oxygen available with the steel plants is also being utilised, the ministry said.

"The country has a daily production capacity of 7127 MT of oxygen per day. Against this, the total production has been 100 per cent since past two days, as directed by the EG2, since supply to medical oxygen has gone up rapidly," the ministry added.

On April 12, the medical oxygen consumptio­n in the country was 3842 MTs, that is 54 per cent of the daily production capacity.

The maximum consumptio­n of medical oxygen is by Maharashtr­a, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, followed by Chhattisga­rh, Punjab, Rajasthan, the ministry stated.

With increasing cases, the medical oxygen consumptio­n will need to keep pace with the requiremen­ts of the states. For this, the current oxygen stocks of the country, including the industrial oxygen stocks with the manufactur­ing plants, is more than 50,000 MTs, the ministry said.

The EG2 has initiated several measures to ensure supply of medical oxygen to various affected states, it said.

Some of the key measures include increasing oxygen production according to production capacity of each oxygen manufactur­ing plant which has resulted in 100 per cent production in the oxygen manufactur­ing units, ramping up availabili­ty of oxygen in the country, it said. The measures also include utilising surplus stocks available with steel plants and mapping requiremen­ts of top states with oxygen sources, including with sources across the state borders and those available at steel plants, for greater clarity and assurance for the states on the oxygen sourcing, the ministry said.

Thus, Maharashtr­a has been able to utilise surplus medical oxygen on daily basis from steel plants like JSW in Dolvi (Maharashtr­a), SAIL in Bhilai (Chhattisga­rh) and from JSW in Bellary (Karnataka). Similarly, Madhya Pradesh is able to supplement its oxygen supply from the Steel plant in Bhilai (Chhattisga­rh), the ministry said.

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 ?? PTI ?? Empty oxygen cylinders being refilled, to be transporte­d to hospitals for Covid-19 patients, amid the rise in Covid-19 cases across the country, in Lucknow, on Thursday
PTI Empty oxygen cylinders being refilled, to be transporte­d to hospitals for Covid-19 patients, amid the rise in Covid-19 cases across the country, in Lucknow, on Thursday

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