Amid the spiralling of Covid-19 cases across the country, the Centre has decided to import 50,000 metric tonnes (MT) of Medical Oxygen to address the shortage in the hospitals, for which the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) via its missions abroad is being tasked to identify and explore from where oxygen can be imported.
"In view of increasing demand for medical oxygen, the Government has decided to float a tender for import of 50,000 MT of medical oxygen. MOHFW has been directed to finalise the tender for the same and also explore possible sources for import identified by the missions of MEA," the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) said in a statement.
"Government is identifying another 100 hospitals in far-flung locations for installation of Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) plants, which manufacture oxygen. 162 PSA plants sanctioned earlier under PM-Cares are being monitored for early completion to enhance self-generation of oxygen in hospitals," the statement said.
India has witnessed a rapid surge in coronavirus cases as more than 2 lakh people have tested positive in the last 24 hours, resulting in huge demand for oxygen.
4880 MT, 5619 MT and 6593 MT have been identified for the 12 high burden states for meeting their projected demand as on April 20, April 25 and April 30, respectively.
Sources of medical oxygen and their production capacity was mapped to match the requirement of states.
The government said that there has been increasing demand for medical oxygen, especially from the 12 states with high burden of active COVID cases viz.- Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.
"While the demand in Maharashtra expected to go beyond the available production capacity of the state, states like Madhya Pradesh do not have any production capacity to meet their demand for medical oxygen. Besides, there is a trend of increasing demand in other oxygen-producing states such as Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan, etc," the health ministry added.
The Centre has swung into action and has decided that 100 new hospitals have their own Oxygen plant under PM-CARES Fund.
( With inputs from ANI )
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