Andhra Pradesh

Nearing self-sufficiency in oxygen

The number of COVID-19 patients needing oxygen support is slowly increasing in Kurnool and Anantapur districts but the supply position is comfortable in both districts with Anantapur even inching closer to self-sufficiency.

Despite a steep rise in the number of positive cases there are only 969 patients consuming oxygen as of Friday evening – 149 patients in Intensive Care Units and 820 in oxygen-supported beds in all hospitals put together. According to the Health Department’s report, another 106 ICU and 939 oxygen-supported beds were vacant.

The government and private hospitals put together have a liquid oxygen storage capacity of 53 kilo litres in Anantapur district in addition to 2,000 medical bulk cylinders (7.1 cu.m.), but the consumption in the district has been only a little above 50% of its capacity. The district administration has taken steps towards making the district self-sufficient in oxygen production by reviving two defunct plants near Hindupur and tying up with a new industrial oxygen production unit.

“We worked with lightning speed to get the required permissions for the three units to produce medical oxygen and supply it to the needy. The Life Oxygen Plant at Chakkarayapeta in Singanamala is producing 350 cylinders of oxygen per day through air suction using compressors and filters and has begun supplying 3 tonnes a day to Chittoor district, while the Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital at Puttaparthi and the RDT Hospital at Bathalapalli are also utilising this gas,” says Collector Gandham Chandrudu.

Vedic Ispat Pvt. Limited at Gollapuram has revived its defunct plant which has a capacity to produce 10 tonnes a day, general manager of District Industries Centre Vijay Kumar tells The Hindu. The second unit with a 4 MT production capacity owned by Sai Krishna Oxygen at Tumukunta will also get operationalised within a week. The three put together add up to 17 MTs of oxygen a day meeting close to 50% of current consumption levels.

Supplies from Karnataka

Kurnool with 45 kl liquid oxygen storage capacity at its major hospitals in addition to 3,000 bulk cylinders (7.1 cu.m. capacity), consumed only 15 Kl a day as of Friday with only 762 out of 7,798 active COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals needing either a ventilator or an oxygen-supported bed.

Drug Control Administration inspector M. Chandrasekhar Rao tells The Hindu that 78 MT of oxygen from various plants in Karnataka has been allocated to the Rayalaseema district and the supplies are steady.

Kurnool DMHO Rama Giddaiah says that there is no scarcity of either doctors or oxygen in Kurnool district and fresh appointments are also being made to meet the additional demand now.


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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 10:44:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/nearing-self-sufficiency-in-oxygen/article34460726.ece

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