As the need for medical oxygen increases day by day after a surge in COVID-19 cases, officials are preparing to maintain adequate inventory levels, particularly in the state’s COVID hospitals.
During a supply and demand review meeting on Wednesday, the Union government had allocated 440 tons of medical oxygen per day to the state, said S. Ravi Shankar Narayan, director general of the Drug Control Administration (DCA) The Hindu.
The state government has appointed node officers to coordinate with the delivery companies and maintain an adequate supply of medical oxygen, he said.
Ravi Shankar Narayan said the node officers had been directed to periodically review the situation and take steps to ensure uninterrupted oxygenation to all COVID hospitals.
MBR Prasad, DCA Director and State Node Officer for Oxygen Supply, said: “We are regularly monitoring the supply situation.”
“Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) and Ellen Berries of Visakhapatnam, Liquinox of Srikakulam, JSN Steels of Bellary and another company in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, are supplying oxygen to the state,” said Ravi Shankar Narayan.
According to medical and health officials, there were 2,528 ventilators available to patients at 185 COVID hospitals across the state.
Guntur has 49 COVID hospitals, the highest in the state, followed by Chittoor (24), Krishna (20) and Kurnool (18).
“Oxygen can be supplied to hospitals via air suspension (which can be filled directly into the cylinders). Liquid oxygen can also be supplied and stored in tankers. We source liquid oxygen from Visakhapatnam, Bellary and Sriperumbudur, ”said DCA Deputy Director K. Raja Bhanu.
“From now on there is no longer a lack of oxygen. However, demand may rise as cases increase day by day, ”said a pulmonologist at a COVID care center in Krishna district.
High level meeting today
The personnel reporter in Guntur writes: After reports of an increase in the demand for medical oxygen and several hospitals running out of supplies, the state government has decided to tackle the problem quickly.
An inter-ministerial meeting will be convened on Thursday in the APIIC office in Mangalagiri. The chairman is Industry Minister Mekapati Gowtham Reddy.
Several important decisions are expected to be made during the meeting. The Minister will also take part in a video conference with officials from the Health, Family Welfare and Home Affairs departments.
The center has already issued instructions to stop supplying industries, oil refineries, nuclear power plants and water treatment plants with oxygen.
The state is also exploring the possibility of installing air separator units in addition to the nine types of oxygen manufacturing equipment required by the center.
Ministers M. Sucharitha, B. Satyanarayana, K. Kanna Babu and Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas are expected to attend the meeting.