Bhubaneswar: Amid shortage of medical oxygen across the country, Odisha, so far, has sent 90 tankers of the life-saving gas to other States, said Crime Branch ADG Yashwant Jethwa on Tuesday.
Odisha has been sending O2 tankers to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Haryana as these States are grappling with acute shortage of the gas for the treatment of Covid patients, Jethwa who is supervising the supply added.
“90 tankers carrying 1676 MT medical oxygen has been sent from Odisha. Special arrangements have been made so that the gas-tankers can reach hospital with ease,” the top cop said.
Arrangements have been made to fill the empty cylinders and a special corridor has been formed for the smooth movement of the these tankers, he informed.
Odisha Police is in contact with their counterparts in other States so that the life-saving can be easily sent to maximum hospitals.
Notably, Odisha is producing 6,700 tons of oxygen daily at its 24 steel plants. While Tata Plant in Kalinga Nagar, Utkal Alumina, Jindal and Bhushan plants are producing 6000 tons, the remaining 700 tons are being produced by other plants.
Last week, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had extended his gratitude towards Odisha for supplying oxygen during the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
Through a tweet, Kejriwal also thanked Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who assured him of all support in facilitating lifting of oxygen quota from Odisha. Patnaik has engaged a special officer on the job, the Delhi CM had tweeted.
New Delhi: To ensure that there is no lack of oxygen in the Covid-19 hospitals across the country, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Sunday banned use of liquid oxygen for any non-medical purpose while directing its manufacturing units to maximise production and make it available to the government for medical purposes only.
The ministry, in an order, stated that the National Executive Committee (NEC), under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, has taken certain decisions to ensure the uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen across the country.
“And whereas, it has been considered necessary to restrict industrial usage of oxygen for ensuring availability of adequate and uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen across the country for management of Covid-19 patients and necessary order in this regard was issued on 22.04.2021 to restrict the use of industrial oxygen.
“Now, therefore, in exercise of powers conferred under section 10(2)(I) and section 65 of the DM Act, the undersigned, hereby directs the state/Union Territory governments and state/Union Territory Authorities to ensure that use of liquid oxygen is not allowed for any non-medical purpose and that all manufacturing units may maximise their production of liquid oxygen, and make it available to the government for use for medical purposes only, with immediate effect and until further orders,” the order stated.
Further, all stocks of liquid oxygen should also be made available to the government for use for medical purposes, it said, adding that no exception is allowed.
On April 22, the MHA prohibited supply of oxygen for industrial purposes, except those exempted by the government.
The ministry had also issued a directive to states and Union Territories asking them to make sure there are no restrictions in the supply of medical oxygen.
It said that availability of adequate and uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen is an important pre-requisite for managing moderate and severe cases of Covid-19 and with the increasing cases, the medical oxygen supply will need to keep pace with the requirements of the states and Union Territories.
Empowered Group-II (EG-II) was set up with the mandate for coordinating medical logistics, including medical oxygen, and has reviewed the supply of oxygen for industrial use in order to divert the same to meet the rising demand for medical oxygen in the country and save precious lives.
Accordingly, EG-II had recommended to prohibit the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes by manufacturers and suppliers forthwith from April 22, till further orders, with the exception of nine specified industries.
The recommendations were accepted by the Central government and the said decision, along with the list of nine exempted industries, have been conveyed by Secretary, Health and Family Welfare on April 18, 2021.
The ministry in the order stated that all District Magistrates, Superintendents of Plice and Deputy Commissioners of Police of districts concerned will be personally liable for implementing the directions and ensuring there is no hindrance in oxygen supply.
“No restriction shall be imposed on the movement of medical oxygen between the states and transport authorities shall be instructed to accordingly allow free inter-state movement of oxygen carrying vehicles,” the MHA directive stated.
Bhubaneswar: Odisha has despatched at least 29 tankers carrying about 510 MT of medical oxygen under police escort to Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and other needy states in the last 48 hours, an official said.
This apart, 15 more tankers are leaving from Dhenkanal, Rourkela and Angul by Saturday, an official statement released by Odisha Police said, adding that the state police has formed a dedicated corridor for speedy movement so as to serve thousands of needy patients in various states without delay.
The Special Cell formed under ADGP (Law and Order), Y K Jethwais is coordinating various actions for prompt loading and transportation of medical oxygen by Odisha to states facing deficit. District SPs/DCPs and Range DIG/IG/CP are supervising the movement personally within their jurisdictions, it said.
Meanwhile, Odisha’s Health and Family Welfare department has set up modalities to meet the demands of oxygen cylinders in the Dedicated COVID Hospital, Covid Care Centres and others where the corona patients are admitted in the state.
In an official letter to all district authorities, Additional Chief Secretary Health and Family Welfare P K Mohapatra said that drug inspectors of districts will ensure timely despatch of the empty cylinders to the assigned fillers and inform his counterparts at which the filler is stationed for timely filing of the cylinders.
He said the hiring charges of vehicles can be met from the Public Health Response Funds or any other suitable head from which transportation districts will be done smoothly.
Official sources said that as against the daily requirement of 23.78 tonne of medical oxygen for patients in Odisha, the daily production of cylinder oxygen in the state is 129.68 tonne. Besides, the daily production of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) is 60 tonne.
While an LMO plant will be commissioned in the MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur by May 10, plans are afoot to set up LMO plants in 15 COVID hospitals including the Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR) at Burla.
Mohapatra said the state is supplying oxygen to other needy states after fulfilling its own requirement. There is no question of giving oxygen to others by ignoring the state’s requirement, he said, while rejecting the allegation that some patients in Odisha are denied oxygen.
Meanwhile, BJP state general secretary Prithiviraj Harichandan alleged that oxygen stock has been exhausted at the MKCG Medical College and Hospital, Berhampur and patients died due to the oxygen shortage on Friday night.
However, the Ganjam district administration has rejected the allegation.
Ganjam District Collector VA Kulange wearing a PPE kit visited the MKCG hospital and interacted with Covid patients admitted to the hospital.
He said the allegation of oxygen shortage at the hospital is not true. “There are some rumours about oxygen supply in Covid hospital in MKCG. We have sufficient oxygen supply and the supply chain is monitored in real time,” Kulange said in a twitter post.