NEW DELHI: Amid continued reports of acute oxygen shortage in many parts of the country, particularly Delhi, the Centre on Wednesday marginally increased state quotas of 8 states, reporting the highest surge in Covid-19 cases.
The states where the supply has been raised includ Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand apart from the national capital where the hospitals have been sending out SOSs due to interrupted supply lines since Monday.
“In view of sudden spike in the demand for oxygen in some states due to an exponential rise in the number of Covid patients admitted in the hospital, the Union government has increased the quota of oxygen,” said the Union ministry of health and family welfare.
Delhi, which was slated for 378 MT of medical oxygen supply every day will now get 480 MT while Madhya Pradesh will get the maximum raise of 98 MT per day, taking it to 543 MT from the current supply of 543 MT.
Maharashtra, which is reporting over 60,000 Covid-19 cases every day, will now get 1661 MT of oxygen, 15 units higher than the current supply of 1646 MT oxygen per day.
The announcement by the Centre comes on a day, Union health secretary said in a press briefing that out of nearly 7,500 MT oxygen being produced in the country, 6600 MT or 88 % had been used in the hospitals on Wednesday.
Meanwhile the ministry also got three prominent doctors Randeep Guleria, director, AIIMS, Delhi, Devi Shetty, chairman, Narayana Health and Naresh Trehan, chairman, Medanta Hospital to issue messages on rational use of Covid19 treatment options, including the crucial oxygen.
Guleria stressed that healthy individuals with oxygen saturation in the range 93-94% do not need to take high flow oxygen just to maintain their saturation at 98-99% and even those with oxygen saturation of less than 94 % need close monitoring while oxygen is optional.
“Oxygen is a treatment, just like a drug” he said adding that taking oxygen intermittently is an absolute waste of oxygen. There is no data that shows that this will be of any help to the patients and is therefore ill-advised.
Trehan pointed out that the country has enough oxygen if used “judiciously” and said it should not be used “security blanket” as its wastage will only lead to depriving someone who needs it.