Use 80 per cent capacity for medical-grade oxygen: state govt to industry

Updated: 12 September, 2020 07:24 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

With cases spiking by the day and demand from across the state increasing sharply, not all districts have sufficient supplies, forcing the move

In May, Saifee Ambulance at Bhendi Bazar had started giving oxygen cylinders on rent to housing societies. File pic
In May, Saifee Ambulance at Bhendi Bazar had started giving oxygen cylinders on rent to housing societies. File pic

With a sharp rise in COVID-19 positive cases in Maharashtra, the demand for oxygen has increased manifold and not all the districts have their own oxygen production factories. To ensure seamless supply of oxygen across the state, the government has asked local producers, especially those with industrial licences, to use 80 per cent of their capacity for production of medical-grade oxygen. 

Due to the prevailing health crisis, the manufacturers of industrial oxygen have been allowed to produce the gas for medical use too. The industrial units willing to produce medical-grade oxygen are given permission within 24 hours of applying. There are prescribed standards for manufacturing medical-grade gas that helps stabilise the vitals of patients with severe symptoms of the novel Coronavirus.

The COVID-19 cases have shot recently and the demand has also increased state-wide, but not all districts have oxygen factories for uninterrupted supply. Moreover, the dedicated COVID-19 hospitals and newly created COVID-10 facilities need seamless supply of medical-grade oxygen.

A senior Mantralaya officer said that Maharashtra receives supply from some other states as well, but considering the COVID-19 situation across the country, it was pertinent to ramp up our own production.

Representation pic
Representation pic

"Lately, the medical-grade oxygen demand from hospitals treating COVID-19 patients has increased by five to six times, as compared to the pre-COVID times. Also, there are several state-run COVID-19 facilities that need uninterrupted supply of oxygen. One contingency plan is to get the gas produced locally to boost our supply chain," he said.

Exclusive ICU hospital in city?

Considering the chaos over the intensive care for the COVID-19 patients, it has been suggested that a bigger hospital be converted into an exclusive ICU facility with 500-600 beds. The suggestion was made at the COVID-19 Task Force meeting on Wednesday. It has also been suggested that doctors from top hospitals are asked to help at the jumbo facilities, where the patients' response so far is poor. "If people know that the top doctors are there at the facilities to look after them, then the trust would increase. We may ask experts for their help in running the facilities, including ICUs," said a senior government officer.

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First Published: 12 September, 2020 07:24 IST

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