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510 metric tons of oxygen stored; Oxygen Audit Committees at State and District Levels; Advanced systems

Thiruvananthapuram: With the number of patients increasing above 30,000 per day, Health Minister KK Shailaja has convened a special high-level meeting to ensure oxygen availability in the state. The meeting was a follow-up to a meeting of district level officials chaired by the Principal Secretary, Department of Health yesterday.

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 tons of oxygen is available in government hospitals. Approximately 100 metric tons of oxygen is required for both Kovid treatment and non-Kovid treatment. After delivery, the oxygen production facility has an oxygen reserve of 510 metric tons. The meeting specifically discussed the various possibilities of increasing the reserve stock to 1000 MT to withstand any adverse conditions.

Special attention was paid by the various District Collectors to the possible increase in the availability of oxygen as per the demand of the treatment centers being set up in the districts in proportion to the increase in the number of patients. The meeting also discussed possible alternatives in this regard.

Oxygen audit committees will be set up at the state, district and hospital levels for the most efficient utilization of available oxygen. It was decided to take precautionary measures to minimize oxygen leakage in connection with the treatment centers and to coordinate a timely training program for the officers handling the oxygen cylinders.

Currently liquid oxygen tanks are installed in many hospitals but the problem of authorization is seen. This is the PESO. The authorities were contacted and directed to resolve the matter as soon as possible and ensure continuous oxygen supply. 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 for industrial use under the supervision of collectors on district basis and convert them into medical oxygen cylinders through air separation unit as soon as possible.

He also directed the district collectors in collaboration with the district police authorities to take immediate steps to implement the directives issued by the Central Government in the state to ensure that the same consideration given to ambulances carrying oxygen on public roads is given to them.

The South Indian head of PESO, who is the Oxygen Regulator, Dr. Dr. Venugopal Nambiar, Principal Secretary, Department of Health; Rajan N. Khobragade, N.H.M. State Mission Director Dr. Ratan Khelkar, KMSCL M.D. Dr. Dileep and district collectors also attended the meeting.

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