COVID19: Govt initiates action to meet states’ Medical Oxygen demand


GUWAHATI: Medical oxygen is a critical component in the treatment of COVID19 affected patients and with the increase in COVID19 cases in India it is important that the supply remains stable to the states. On 12th April 2021, the medical oxygen consumption in the country was 3842 MTs, that is 54 percent of the daily production capacity. India has a daily production capacity of 7127 MT of oxygen per day according to government press release.

The maximum consumption of medical oxygen in the country is by states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, followed by Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Rajasthan.

An inter-ministerial Empowered Group (EG2) of officers under the chairmanship of Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industries and Internal Trade (DPIIT) consisting of senior officers from various ministries and departments including Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW), Ministry of Textiles, Ministry of AYUSH, Ministry of MSME, etc was constituted during the COVID pandemic in March – 2020 to ensure the availability of essential medical equipment including medical oxygen to the affected states.

For the past one year, the EG2 has been continuously monitoring and facilitating the smooth supply of essential medical equipment including medical oxygen to the affected states and addressing challenges that arise from time to time, says the release. In the present context of increasing COVID cases, the EG2 has been meeting and facilitating the supply of essential medical equipment, particularly related to medical oxygen supply to the States. EG2 has been meeting and interacting frequently with the States, Oxygen manufacturers and other stakeholders to facilitate medical oxygen supply to States are per necessity.

The current oxygen stocks of the country, including the industrial oxygen stocks with the manufacturing plants, is more than 50,000 MTs. Along with the ramped up production of the oxygen manufacturing units and the surplus stocks available, the present availability of oxygen is sufficient. At the same time, States that are being asked to make rational use of medical oxygen and ensure there is no wastage of oxygen. Besides States must set up Control Rooms to ensure smooth supply of oxygen to the districts as per need, review requirement of cylinders, tankers etc.