HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh Industries and Commerce Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy on Thursday directed officials to come up with an action plan to meet the oxygen demand of the State fully in case if there is a further surge in Covid-19 cases. During a virtual review meeting with officials of industries, medical and health departments and representatives of oxygen plants in the State, he took stock of demand and supply of oxygen.
As per the data with the State government, a maximum of 300 MT of oxygen was used a day for medical needs during the first wave of Covid last year. According to an estimate, 516 MT of oxygen is required if all the 26,000 beds equipped with O2 supply in the State are occupied by Covid patients. Out of the total 440 MT of oxygen allocated by the Centre to Andhra Pradesh, the State is only getting 340 MT of oxygen now. The State government is of the view that it will be sufficient to meet its current demand.
Besides proposing to reopen the closed air separation plants and pressure swing adsorption plants, Goutham Reddy said a short term policy will be rolled out for setting up PSA plants in the State to meet the situation. He further said steps are being taken to convert the licences issued to plants for production of industrial oxygen as that of medical oxygen. Already, licences have been given to 44 such units in the State, he said.
Making it clear that oxygen being produced in Andhra Pradesh will be used to meet the demand of the State first, before supplying it to other States, Goutham Reddy asserted that there will be strict vigil on supply of medical oxygen. He underlined the need for evolving strategies for optimum utilisation of oxygen for medical and industrial needs.