Covid-19: 50,000 metric tons of medical oxygen can be imported | India News
At a high-level meeting of the empowered group of secretaries on medical supplies for Covid-19, the availability of essential medical equipment and oxygen during the pandemic was reviewed.
The country’s current oxygen stocks, including industrial oxygen stocks with manufacturing plants, exceed 50,000 metric tons.
Furthermore, in view of the growing demand for medical oxygen, the empowered group has also decided to launch a tender for the import of 50,000 MT of medical oxygen.
The government maintains that there is sufficient production capacity of around 7,127 MT of oxygen in the country and, depending on the needs, the surplus oxygen available in the steel plants is also being used. The country has a daily production capacity of 7,127 MT of oxygen per day. Against this, total production has been 100% since the last two days. On April 12, the consumption of medical oxygen in the country was 3,842 MT, that is, 54% of the daily production capacity.
“Empowered Group is monitoring the medical oxygen supply and demand situation on an ongoing basis to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to support the uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen,” said an official.
The Center began mapping 12 high-load states with the highest number of active Covid-19 cases to oxygen sources. These states are Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan.
“Medical oxygen sources and their production capacity have been mapped to meet state requirements and an indicative framework has been developed to guide states on medical oxygen sources,” an official statement said.
The Center is also working to accelerate the completion of 162 oxygen manufacturing plants in hospitals that have been sanctioned by PM-Cares. In addition, the Empowered Group ordered the Ministry of Health to identify another 100 hospitals in remote locations to consider the sanction for the installation of such plants.
Since the increase in Covid-19 cases in the second wave exceeded the previous peak, the proportion of serious cases hospitalized has also increased significantly compared to the situation in early August, when cases were increasing rapidly.
Currently, around 4.5% of active cases are estimated to be on oxygen support, while 2.31% are in the ICU and 0.46% of cases are on ventilator. In mid-August 2020, when cases were increasing, 2.43% of active cases were on oxygen support, while only 1.77% of cases were in ICU and 0.25% were in fan.
The Center has called on states to make rational use of medical oxygen and to ensure that oxygen is not wasted. Additionally, the Center has instructed states to establish control rooms to ensure a smooth supply of oxygen to districts as needed, reviewing cylinder and tank truck requirements.