Kerala CM writes to PM for medical oxygen

The Covid-19 control room opened by the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation to support the Covid patients, in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: S. Mahinsha


Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday urgently appealed to the Centre to resupply Kerala’s fast diminishing supplemental medical oxygen stocks.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr. Vijayan said Kerala was cresting the second wave of COVID-19 infections. The surge in cases was massive.

The requirement for liquid medical oxygen was on the ascend. Kerala requires to stock up the life-saving compound urgently. Its current stock was plunging fast due to heavy daily demand.

The State required 1000 tonne of liquid medical oxygen. He requested the Union Ministry of External Affairs to issue the oxygen from imported stock.

Mr. Vijayan sought 500 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen immediately. The Centre could deliver the rest from the nearest steel plant, he said.

The CM also requested the allotment of 50 lakh Covishield and 25 lakh Covaxin doses for Kerala.

Mr. Vijayan’s SOS to the Centre comes amidst a scramble to build COVID-19 care capacity in Kerala, given the upward spiral in new infections. The daily death rate was also slowly mounting.

At least one government medical college hospital was operating in almost total capacity,

Ventilators and oxygen beds were increasingly at a premium. By one account, private hospitals had reported 85 % bed occupancy.

An estimated 28,115 covid patients were in hospitals. Of them, 1,975 were in intensive care units and 756 on ventilator support. The government feared the numbers could increase given the high disease transmission rate.

Mr. Vijayan had said on Tuesday that the pandemic situation was grim. The pestilence was yet to peak. The storm was coming.

The government had imposed curbs on civic life to ensure the surge did become a tsunami that would swamp Kerala.

The government had commandeered hotels and turned them into COVID-19 treatment centres.

On Tuesday, the government had mandated that citizens venturing out of their homes should wear weak two masks one over the other. Ideally, they should wear an N-95 mask. Or they should wear a surgical mask over a cloth mask, the CM had said.

Mr. Vijayan had set that Japan had drastically reduced the transmission rate by insisting that citizens remain indoors as far as possible. Kerala had attempted a similar trial.

The government had banned walking for exercise in public places. It directed citizens to abandon exercising in parks, beaches and public squares for now. The State had earlier banned sports, athletic and clubbing activities. It had further reduced office attendance to less than 25 % of the workforce.

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 3:07:11 AM |

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