Oxygen Status in India today – Procurement, Manufacture, Raids

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Naval Ship Brings Oxygen To Mangalore Port From Kuwait

Indian Navy’s INS Kolkata sailed into the new Mangaluru port on Karnataka’s west coast with medical oxygen from Qatar and Kuwait, a defence official said on Monday.

“As part of operation ‘Samudra Setu II’ to support the nation’s fight against Covid, the naval ship brought in 400 bottles of oxygen and 2 containers of 30 tonnes liquid medical oxygen from Shuwaikh port in Kuwait,” said the official in a statement here.

Mangaluru port is about 375km west of Bengaluru in the southern state.

The ship sailed from Doha in Qatar and Shuwaikh in Kuwait on May 5.

“The shipment has been delivered to the state-run oil marketing firm Indian Oil Corporation for supplying the gas to the state,” said the statement.

Similarly, another naval ship INS Airavat reached Visakhapatnam on the east coast of Andhra Pradesh earlier in the day, with cryogenic oxygen tanks and cylinders from Singapore.

“The ship, which sailed from Singapore on May 5, brought 8 cryogenic oxygen tanks and 3,898 oxygen cylinders that were sourced from various agencies in coordination with the Indian High Commission in the island nation,” added the statement.

13 KL Oxygen plant set up at Kozhikode Medical College

As Covid-19 cases rise drastically, a 13 KL oxygen plant was set up at Kozhikode Medical College Hospital.

This is to accommodate the increase in the number of Covid patients who require oxygen support.

The 13KL plant from the PK Steel Complex was re-located to the Medical College compound. This was following the order of the District Collector under the Disaster Management Act.

The re-location was done by Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society (ULCCS).

Kozhikode today has 52,116 Covid positive cases and the State run Medical College hospital has the highest number of patients and hence this new oxygen plant is expected to make breathing easy for numerous patients.

The decision to re-locate the oxygen plant was taken by the Sambasiva Rao, the Kozhikode district collector on May 1 and ULCCS team began the re-location work and it has completed its work and commissioned the plant, all done free of cost taking into consideration the gravity of the situation.

Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar took to Twitter to congratulate the ULCCS for reinstalling the oxygen plant.

The plant is located in front of the new Covid Block of Kozhikode Medical College which can accommodate 700 patients and has 120 ICU beds.

The 2013 Indian Cooperative Congress has acknowledged ULCCS as the best worker’s Cooperative society in India and the World Cooperative Monitor published by the International Cooperative Alliance has ranked ULCCS in second position after the world leader in Cooperatives, Modragon of Spain. This ranking is based on the ratio of turnover over gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.

Neyveli Lignite to set up Oxygen plants in Tamil Nadu

Public Sector Enterprise Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) is to set up Oxygen plants in Tamil Nadu and in other states where it is in operation. The company is to set up 9 oxygen plants across the country.

Neyveli Lignite Corporation India Ltd (NLCIL) Chairman and Managing Director, Rakesh Kumar in a release said that the company is to set up two oxygen plants at Tuticorin and Neyveli within a month and has already floated tenders for this.

The company will install two plants at the cost of Rs 25 lakh and Rs 30 lakh at the NLCIL hospitals. The company will also install three plants at a cost of Rs 65 lakh to Rs 70 lakh in three government general hospitals which are identified by the Tamil Nadu state government.

The plants will be funded through the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility scheme for the fiscal year 2021-22.

NLCIL is also in the process of purchasing 500 oxygen concentrators of 10 litres per minute capacity and the tenders have already been floated according to the company officials.

Chief General Manager (Human Resources), Sathyamurthy is in charge of the hospital administration in the township. The company has also increased its bed strength in hospitals in the township of Neyveli from 90 to 500 for treatment of Covid patients. The company is also setting up a CT scan facility in its hospital and a 24 hour control room to meet emergencies.

‘One third of India’s oxygen production concentrated in eastern region’

One-third of oxygen production in the country is concentrated in its eastern region even as nearly 60 per cent of the demand for the live-saving gas is in the northern and southern parts and 30 per cent in the western sector.

There is a mismatch between oxygen producing and consuming states, but the Centre is trying to maintain equity among states.

As per government’s latest data, of the total production of 8,859 Metric Tonne (MT) oxygen, 1,174 MT (12 per cent) is produced in northern part of the country while the allocation in the region is 2,897 MT (33 per cent).

Despite producing maximum of 2,867 MT oxygen (32 per cent), the allocation in eastern region of the country is only 1,035 MT (12 per cent).

With the production of 2,838 MT oxygen (32 per cent), the western region is allocated 2,688 MT oxygen (30 per cent). In the south, the production is 1,980 MT (22 per cent) while the allocation is 2,239 MT (25 per cent).

The government data said the demand has resulted in “transportation challenges” but, in order to address the surge in demand for oxygen, the Central government established allocation process of the gas to equitably supply it to all states in line with the demand.

The data was issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

“Mapping of source and destination of oxygen has been completed to optimize transportation plan in consultation with states and the UTs, manufacturers and other stakeholders.”

The first oxygen allocation order issued on April 15 this year and it was restricted to a few states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.

As the second wave of pandemic spread to other states, demand for Oxygen increased from other states and the formula of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was used to estimate oxygen requirement for each state in line with the active cases in the state, and maximum efforts were made to align Oxygen Allocation to the estimated demand for each state, said the data.

Other factors such as availability of hospital infrastructure including ICU beds were also taken into account while finalising allocation, it said.

The Oxygen allocation process has continuously evolved to streamline the distribution of oxygen in the country. Oxygen allocation to states and the Union Territories (UTs) is dynamic in nature, based on requirement as per Health Ministry norms, and consultation with states and UTs, manufacturers and other stakeholders.

The data further mentioned that oxygen production has increased from 5,700 Metric Tonne (MT) per day in August last year to 9,446 MT per day in May this year, said the data, adding the production capacity has increased from 6,817 MT per day to 7,314 MT per day, and capacity utilisation has gone up from 84 per cent to 129 per cent during this period.

After beds and oxygen, Delhi staring at vaccine shortage

Stocks of Covaxin in the Capital could run out in the next 24 hours and stocks of Covishield are likely to get exhausted in the next three to four days, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Monday.

“Delhi has stocks for just one day for one and for three or four days for the other. Covaxin stock will last a day and Covishield three or four days,” said Jain during his visit to a 400-bed Covid facility at Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib.

The Minister told mediapersons there were just 274,460 doses – both Covaxin and Covishield – meant for those between the ages of 18 and 44 years purchased by the state as on May 9. There were 467,190 doses allocated by the Centre meant for those above the ages of 45 years, health care workers, and frontline workers till May 9.

As per the Centre’s directives, states have to use 70 per cent of these doses to give the second shot to those who have already received one. Delhi has been giving nearly 95,000 shots a day during the last week, according to data shared by the government.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had on Sunday written to Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan requesting that the government must come up with a uniform price for the vaccine doses as states and private hospitals were competing for the same supply.

After battling for hospital beds and oxygen for nearly a month amid the raging second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the national capital is now struggling to get adequate supply of vaccines.

The Aam Aadmi Part (AAP) led Delhi government said on Monday that the city is not getting adequate supply of vaccines and the stocks of Covaxin in Delhi would run out in the next 24 hours, while the stocks of Covishield are likely to get exhausted in the next three to four days.

“Delhi has stocks for just one day for one, and for three or four days for the other vaccine. Covaxin stock will last a day and Covishield for three or four days,” Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Monday.

Meanwhile, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the Centre has replied that the national capital will get only 3.5 lakh doses of vaccine in May against its demand for around 3 crore vaccines in the next three months.

The Delhi government had on Sunday informed the Centre that it would need 60 lakh doses of vaccine per month to vaccinate around 93 lakh people in the 18-45 age group between May and July.

Sisodia also slammed the BJP for making a ‘false claim’ that Delhi government did not order for adequate doses of vaccine in advance.

“After the Centre had made it clear that the state governments could directly approach the companies for placing vaccine orders, the Delhi government had in April ordered 1.34 crore vaccines,” Sisodia said.

A large number of youth in the country have died during the second wave of the pandemic, Sisodia said, adding that their lives could have been saved had vaccines were administered to them instead of exporting the doses to other countries.

He said the Centre should ensure that the vaccines manufactured in the country are provided to the states that are facing shortage.

He also reiterated Delhi government’s stand that it can vaccinate everyone in the city within three months provided adequate doses are made available to it.

In a letter to the Union Health Ministry, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had on Sunday requested the Centre to direct the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech to increase monthly supplies of Covid vaccines to Delhi to 60 lakh a month for the next three months.

226 oxygen cylinders seized from Bihar’s Katihar district

The district administration on Monday morning seized 226 oxygen cylinders in Bihar’s Katihar district.

Shankar Sharan Omi, the SDM Katihar said: “The raid was conducted on the tip-off of local informers.

“The cylinders are booked from Mumbai in the luggage compartment of the train bound to Katihar. We are trying to verify persons who booked cylinders from Mumbai and the receiver in Katihar,” the officer said.

“Prima facie, it appeared to be a case of black marketing as no one came forward to claim the cylinders so far. We have also cross-checked with the district civil surgeon of Katihar whether any government or private hospital purchased the cylinders but he has also denied the same. We have asked railway police to conduct a thorough inquiry into the matter and submit a report with district administration Katihar,” Omi said.

Meanwhile, a joint team of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Bihar police and Delhi Police managed to arrest two persons on the charge of duping a person on the pretext of providing an oxygen cylinder.

The accused have been identified as Kishan Kumar and Samir Khan, residents of Takiyapar locality under Danapur sub-division in Patna district.

“The accused lured a person from Delhi to provide an oxygen cylinder at a cheap price. They asked the victim to deposit money online. During investigation, the mobile tower of the accused appeared in Danapur. Accordingly, a joint raid was conducted and arrested both the accused,” said V Dayal, ASP of EOW Patna.

“We are trying to identify the other accused who are involved in the crime,” Dayal said.

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Arushi Sana
Arushi Sana is the Co-Founder of Santerra Living, a bio-pellet factory that makes a renewable form of eco-coal and Co-Founder of NYK Daily, a global news platform. She was awarded the Times Power Women of the Year 2022, Times Digital Entrepreneur of the Year 2023, Silicon India's Top 10 Women Owned Startups of Hyderabad 2023 and IHW Council Climate Health Influencer 2024. Arushi is also a speaker for Sustainability and Entrepreneurship at various forms like the World Bank, UN International Solar Alliance and Universities, and was also invited to the UN COP28 UAE Climate Conference. She is a Sustainability Consultant for organisations looking to reduce their carbon footprint and also works with brands on social media to help them carve a presence in that niche. She holds a Degree in Computer Science Engineering from VIT University and a Diploma in Marketing Analytics from IIM Nagpur. She has previously worked in Ernst & Young and Deloitte as a Forensic Data Analyst. Arushi is a writer, political researcher, a social worker, a farmer and a singer with an interest in languages. Travel and nature are the biggest spiritual getaways for her, and she aims to develop a global community of knowledge and journalism par excellence through this News Platform.

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