Centre asks states to ensure adequate oxygen availability in healthcare facilities amid Covid-19

by Times of India

NEW DELHI: With oxygen support a key in treatment procedures for Covid-19 patients, the Centre on Monday directed states and union territories to maintain effective coordination with steel plants for oxygen procurement since steel plants provide approximately 550 MT per day oxygen in addition to oxygen manufacturers who provide 6400 MT per day.

An official release said that the Health Ministry held a virtual meeting on Monday which was attended among others by Union Health Secretary and Health and Industries Secretaries from states.

The aim of the meeting was to ensure adequate oxygen availability in all healthcare facilities in these States and unrestricted intra as well as the inter-state movement of oxygen.

It was noted that 11 tankers in Assam supply oxygen to most of the north-eastern states.

The release said states were specifically advised to ensure facility wise/hospital wise oxygen inventory management and advance planning for timely replenishment so that there is no stockout.

They were asked to ensure that no restriction is imposed on the movement of medical oxygen between States/UTs, there is a provision of “Green Corridor” for Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) tankers within the cities and real-time monitoring of cryogenic tankers used to supply oxygen.

The states were advised to repurpose argon and nitrogen carrying tankers to increase the number of oxygen carrier vehicles and ensure timely payment of the due bills to the manufacturers and supplier to maintain an uninterrupted supply of oxygen.

“Hospitals and institutions have long term tender/ contract agreement for the supply of oxygen with oxygen manufacturers, which need to be honoured. Hence, States must not impose restrictions on free movement of oxygen,” the release said.

The states were advised to undertake oxygen consumption audit, ensure only cases requiring medical oxygenation are administered with oxygen and prevent leakages due to negligence of hospital staff

“Ensure proper disinfection of Oxygen cylinders as per protocols while sending cylinders to fillers of Oxygen. Expedite the process of grant of licenses to produce medical oxygen to those already producing industrial oxygen,” the release said.

State Health Secretaries and Industries Secretaries of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Goa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Delhi, Odisha, Punjab, Puducherry, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal participated in the meeting.

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