COVID-19: State has reserve of 510 MT of oxygen, says Kerala Govt
Kerala government on Tuesday informed that the state has a reserve of 510 MT of oxygen.
In the wake of surging Covid-19 cases in Kerala, the state's Health Minister KK Shailja on Tuesday chaired a special high-level meeting to ensure oxygen availability.
As per an official statement, the meeting specifically discussed the daily production, distribution and use of oxygen in the state and the preparations for the gradual increase in the number of impending patients.
"Currently, 220 metric tonnes (MT) of oxygen is available in government hospitals. Approximately 100 MT of oxygen is required for both covid and non-covid treatment. After distribution, the state has a reserve of 510 MT of oxygen," the statement read.
During the meeting, there were also discussions on the various possibilities of increasing the reserve stock to 1,000 MT to withstand any adverse conditions.
District Collectors informed the Health Minister about the anticipated increase in the availability of oxygen as per the need of the treatment centres being set up in the districts in proportion to the increase in the number of patients.
"Oxygen audit committees will be set up at the state, district and hospital levels for the most effective utilization of available oxygen. It was decided to take precautionary measures to minimize the leakage of oxygen and to coordinate a timely training program for officials handling oxygen cylinders," it said.
Liquid oxygen tanks are currently installed in many hospitals, but problems related to authorization exists there. KK Sahilja instructed the officials to resolve the issue as soon as possible in consultation with PESO (Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation) and to ensure the continuous availability of oxygen.
In view of the declining availability of bulk oxygen cylinders across the country, it was decided to capture bulk oxygen cylinders, nitrogen cylinders and argon cylinders used for industrial use under the supervision of the District Collectors and to convert them into medical oxygen cylinders through air separation unit.
The Health Minister also directed District Collectors to work in cooperation with the district police authorities to implement the directives issued by the central government to ensure the trucks carrying oxygen cylinders are getting the same consideration given to ambulances on public roads.
The South India head of PESO, who is the Oxygen Regulator, Dr Venugopal Nambiar; Principal Secretary, Department of Health, Rajan N Khobragade; NHM State Mission Director Dr Ratan Khelkar, KMSCL MD Dr Dileep and District Collectors also attended the meeting.