NEW DELHI: Proposing an equitable formula for managing oxygen supply, the Supreme Court-constituted National Task Force (NTF) stressed that authorities must maintain strategic reserves for 2-3 weeks, like it is done for fuel by petrol stations, to manage the surge in COVID-19 cases in future.
NTF said a 100-bed hospital should be allocated about 1.5 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen every day. Meanwhile, a committee constituted to see oxygen supply stated that Delhi needed about 300 MT at that time, but the Delhi government raised the demand to 1200 MT.
The oxygen audit report further said due to Delhi's excessive demand, 12 other states had to face a shortage as supply was diverted to Delhi.
The task force suggested measures to be taken to prevent a repeat of the crisis. The 12-member NTA lauded the Central government’s efforts, saying it took proactive steps last year to control the spread of the pandemic.The task force suggested oxygen monitoring committees be set up in every hospital.
Further, monitoring teams should be available to ensure proper assessment of need as per hospital protocol. The NTF was constituted to devise a formula oxygen allocation, after Delhi disputed the Centre’s methods.
"The formula needs to be developed for the calculation of oxygen requirement for the primary, secondary, and tertiary-level hospitals based on the number of Oxygen beds and ICU beds," it said. For a 100-bed hospital with 25% ICU beds, the report stated that its daily requirement should be 1.5 MT.