Andhra Pradesh

Officials gearing up to maintain enough oxygen stocks

With the demand for medical oxygen increasing by the day following a spurt in the COVID-19 cases, the officials are gearing up to maintain enough stocks, particularly in the COVID Hospitals, in the State.

During a review meeting on the supply and demand position on Wednesday, the Union government had allocated 440 tonnes per day of medical oxygen to the State, S. Ravi Shankar Narayan, Director General of the Drug Control Administration (DCA), told The Hindu.

The State government had appointed nodal officers to coordinate with the supplying companies and maintain enough stock of medical oxygen, he said.

Mr. Ravi Shankar Narayan said the nodal officers had been instructed to review the situation from time to time, and take measures for uninterrupted supply of oxygen to all the COVID Hospitals.

M.B.R. Prasad, DCA Director and State nodal officer for oxygen supply, said, “We are monitoring the supply situation regularly.”

“Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) and Ellen Berries of Visakhapatnam, Liquinox of Srikakulam, JSN Steels of Bellary, and another company located at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu are supplying oxygen to the State,” Mr. Ravi Shankar Narayan said.

As per the Medical and Health officials, 2,528 ventilators were available for the patients in 185 COVID Hospitals in the State.

Guntur has 49 COVID Hospitals, the highest in the State, which is followed by Chittoor (24), Krishna (20), and Kurnool (18).

“Oxygen can be supplied to hospitals through air suspension (that can be directly filled into the cylinders). Liquid oxygen too can be supplied and stored in tankers. We are sourcing liquid oxygen from Visakhapatnam, Bellary and Sriperumbudur,” said DCA Assistant Director K. Raja Bhanu.

“As of now, there is no shortage of oxygen. But the demand may increase as cases are increasing by the day,” said a pulmonologist at a COVID Care Centre in Krishna district.

High-level meeting today

Staff Reporter in Guntur writes: In the wake of reports of a spike in demand for medical oxygen and several hospital running out of supplies, the State government has resolved to address the issue quickly.

On Thursday, an inter-Ministerial meeting will be convened at the office of the APIIC at Mangalagiri. It will be chaired by Minister for Industries Mekapati Gowtham Reddy.

Several key decisions are expected to be taken during the meeting. The Minister will also take part in a video-conference with the officials of Health, Family Welfare and Home departments.

The Centre has already given directions to stop supply of oxygen to industries, petroleum refineries, nuclear energy facilities, water treatment plants.

The State is also looking into the possibility of setting up air separator units, in addition to the nine types of oxygen manufacturing facilities prescribed by the Centre.

Ministers M. Sucharitha, B. Satyanarayana, K. Kanna Babu, and Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas are expected to take part in the meeting.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 4:28:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/officials-gearing-up-to-maintain-enough-oxygen-stocks/article34379965.ece

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