The Centre, on Thursday, asked the states to ensure rational use of medical oxygen and to avoid any kind of wastage while stressing that there is enough stock of oxygen in the country.
Medical oxygen is very important in the treatment of Covid-19 infections. In March 2020, an intra-ministerial Empowered Group (EG2) of officers was constituted to ensure the availability of essential medical equipment including medical oxygen to the coronavirus 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 further added that the country is producing
oxygen at its full capacity every day for the last two days.
KEY MEASURES RELEASED BY THE MINISTRY IN ITS STATEMENT
- States have been asked to set up control rooms to ensure smooth supply of oxygen to districts as per the needs and also to review the requirements of cylinders, tankers etc.
- A very detailed daily mapping of sources for medical oxygen supply is under preparation to ensure uninterrupted oxygen supply.
- 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 inter-ministerial Empowered Group (EG2).
“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 was quoted saying.
“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 said.
- Important measures taken by EG2 to ensure supply of oxygen:increasing oxygen production, ramping up availability of oxygen in the country, utilising surplus stocks available with steel plants and mapping requirements of top states with oxygen sources
- A subgroup has been formed under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways with the Ministry of Railways and transport departments of states to facilitate the movement of tankers for Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO).
- Moving of oxygen tankers by rail is also being actively worked out.
- Mapping of surplus sources with states that have a greater need for oxygen is being finalized in consultation with the manufacturers, states, and other stakeholders.
- Some of the important decisions taken for the seamless movement of oxygen tankers include orders given by PESO (Petroleum and Safety Organisation) for conversion of argon and nitrogen tankers for use as oxygen tankers, the fleet available for transportation of tankers has been enhanced and free movement of oxygen tankers inter-state has been facilitated through MoRTH without registration in the other states.
Industrial cylinders have been permitted to be used for transporting medical oxygen after due purging and placing of orders for the purchase of another one lakh oxygen cylinders by the health ministry is also being undertaken