NEW DELHI: Amid concerns about the supply of medical oxygen, the Centre on Tuesday said adequate supply is available but asked states to ensure hospitals have an effective inventory management and an alert is raised well in time before stockout to ensure timely replenishment.
“These (Covid) patients and also other non-Covid patients with essential health requirements for oxygen together account for about 2,800 metric tonnes daily. The industry requirement is about 2,200 MT. So we have a surplus of about 1,900 metric tonnes,” health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said.
Bhushan said the country’s current daily capacity of oxygen production is more than 6,900 metric tonnes. “As per this morning’s data, about 6% of Covid-19 patients were on oxygen,” he said. With India having a little less than 9.5 lakh active Covid cases, that would mean around 60,000 are on oxygen.
However, Bhushan underlined the need for inventory management and raising a timely alert so that oxygen can be replenished before a hospital runs out.
“If a shortage is likely then immediate action should be taken to replenish it on time and help should be sought from the Centre,” Bhushan said.
He also said that meetings have been held with states and they have also been asked to set up a control room for monitoring the situation of oxygen stock, and a virtual control room has also been set at the central level.
Earlier this week, senior officials from different ministries, including health and pharmaceuticals, held a meeting with Maharashtra,
, Rajasthan and
on ensuring adequate oxygen availability in all healthcare facilities, and unrestricted intra- as well as inter-state movement of oxygen.