Government to import 50,000 MT of medical oxygen, but denies shortage in country

Government to import 50,000 MT of medical oxygen, but denies shortage in country

Vials of Remdesivir being loaded into a chopper in Indore. PTI

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 15

The government today said it would import 50,000 metric tonnes (MT) of medical oxygen to ensure supplies to states even as it added that oxygen availability in the country was adequate.

Edit: Rural Covid surge

3,842 MT daily consumption

  • 3,842 MT is the national daily consumption of medical oxygen
  • 7,127 MT is the country’s daily production capacity
  • 50,000 MT is the available national stock

As hospitals reeled under oxygen shortage, the empowered group of officers addressing the issue met today and started mapping oxygen sources for 12 high-burden states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

“There has been increasing demand for medical oxygen, especially from the 12 states with high burden of active Covid cases. The demand in Maharashtra is expected to go beyond the state’s production capacity, while Madhya Pradesh does not have any production of medical oxygen. There is also a trend of increasing demand in oxygen-producing states, including Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan,” the government said. After the meeting with manufacturers, the government said 4,880 MT, 5,619 MT and 6,593 MT have been assured and factored in for 12 high-burden states to meet their projected demand as on April 20, 25 and 30, respectively.

The assured supply would be notified through a government order, sources said.

The meeting also decided to import 50,000 MT of medical oxygen to be ready for the increasing demand.

Health Ministry has been asked to finalise the tender and explore possible sources for the import.

Meanwhile, 162 pressure swing adsorption plants sanctioned under the PM-Cares are being closely reviewed for early completion to enhance self-generation of oxygen in hospitals, especially in remote areas. The group asked the Health Ministry to identify another 100 hospitals in far-flung areas for installation of PSA plants.

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