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Each metro must have 100 MT oxygen storage: NTF report

There should be a strategy to manufacture oxygen locally or in the neighbourhood of big cities to fulfil at least 50% of their LMO demand as road transportation is vulnerable.   | Photo Credit: AFP

All 18 metro cities have to be made oxygen-independent, with at least 100 MT storage in each of them, the Supreme Court-appointed National Task Force (NTF) has recommended.

There should be a strategy to manufacture oxygen locally or in the neighbourhood of big cities to fulfil at least 50% of their Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) demand as road transportation is vulnerable.

“This may be taken up in respect of Delhi and Mumbai on priority, due to their population density,” the NTF report said.

The NTF highlighted the need to make efforts to further scale up LMO production in preparation for a third wave of the pandemic.

“We should have strategic reserves of oxygen for country to cover two-three weeks’ consumption, similar to the arrangement made for petroleum products. Similarly, all hospitals should have a buffer capacity for emergencies,” the report stated.

The NTF was formed in early May during the peak days of the second wave of the pandemic, which claimed many lives. It also saw an oxygen supply crunch and lapses in distribution that led to deaths, especially in the Capital.

The report said, “There is an urgent need to increase production of LMO from about 5% - 8% of gaseous industrial oxygen. The government should support and subsidise the industries concerned”.

The report, given to the government, is annexed to an affidavit filed by the Health Ministry in the Supreme Court.

Buffer capacity

The report said that about 20% buffer capacity of a State’s requirement should be created for allocation, This is over and above the baseline demand for allocation to the States with rising cases. The States must explore options, to plan and operationalise buffer stock, in consultation with local stakeholders.

The NTF suggested that the States could even set up makeshift hospitals in the proximity of industrial oxygen production units. Oxygen generation units (PSA- pressure swing adsorption) should be made compulsory for hospitals, including for medical colleges and district hospitals. Each hospital with 100 or more beds, should be encouraged to have an LMO installation.

The NTF supported working out new strategies for uninterrupted oxygen supply to the rural areas. This includes having PSA plants in vulnerable areas, oxygen concentrators in rural COVID-19 care centres and parking 250-litre oxygen cylinders in medical facilities located in smaller villages.


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Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 11:29:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/each-metro-must-have-100-mt-oxygen-storage-ntf-report/article34972984.ece

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