Shortage? Oxygen reserved only for medical facilities now

All industries, except 9 exempted ones, barred from securing the gas

Shortage? Oxygen reserved only for medical facilities now

A Civil Hospital staff member installs oxygen cylinders for the coronavirus patients in Jalandhar on Wednesday. Sarabjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 21

Keeping in view the rising cases of Covid-19, the Deputy Commissioner on Wednesday barred all industries from securing oxygen supply with the exception of the exempted ones which would have to seek permission from the nodal officer. Only medical units would henceforth be eligible for oxygen supply in the district. Any exempted industry requiring oxygen in the district will have to take permission from the nodal officers before it can be authorised for oxygen supply. And only nine exempted industries can seek this permission, ordered the DC.

The DC released these instructions hours after providing exemption to nine industries for the provision of oxygen. As per the new orders, any ‘exempted’ industry can only be supplied oxygen after the written permission of the nodal officers — Hardeep Singh, Additional Commissioner (G), and Darbara Singh, Deputy Director, Local Bodies, who is also the nodal officer (oxygen).

The nine exempted industries are ampoules & vials, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refineries, steel plants, nuclear energy facilities, oxygen cylinder manufacturers, wastewater treatment plants, food & water purification and process industries which require an uninterrupted operation of furnaces, process, etc.

ADC Vishesh Sarangal, nodal officer for Level 3 private medical centres in the district, said, “There is a daily requirement of about 3,500 oxygen cylinders of B-type and D-type in the district. At present, we have a sufficient supply of oxygen. But the arrangements are being made to ensure that there is ample supply as at times there are also panic calls or sudden requirement.”

A private doctor on condition of anonymity said, “We are forced to send patients to other hospitals or medical units which have oxygen plants as there is a severe shortage of oxygen. Patients are rising and today we have managed but we do not know whether we may be able to manage oxygen tomorrow.”

Multiple directions to hospitals

  • Deputy Commissioner Ghanshyam Thori exhorted all private hospitals and industries to install pressure swing absorption (PSA)-based oxygen plants on their premises
  • He said all private hospitals and industries were asked to install PSA oxygen plants, which would help Covid care institutions to meet the requisite oxygen requirements
  • The DC further asked the hospitals to postpone elective surgeries in their respective institutions to ensure sufficient availability of oxygen for Covid-19 patients across facilities