India’s daily domestic oxygen production increased to 9,400 MT
The production of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) has been maximized to meet the present demand of Covid-19 patients and the domestic production currently exceeded 9,400 Metric Tonne per day, the government said on Saturday.
Giridhar Aramane, Secretary, Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways informed while presenting the current scenario of LMO production, allocation and supply during the 25th meeting of the high-level Group of Ministers (GoM) on Covid-19 through video-conference.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan chaired the meeting that was also virtually attended by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep S. Puri, Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai, and Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey. Vinod K. Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog was present virtually.
At the outset, the Health Minister apprised other members of GOM about the steadily growing trajectory of daily recoveries and also observed that “180 districts have showed no fresh cases in the last seven days, 18 districts in 14 days, 54 districts in 21 days and 32 districts were bereft of any fresh cases in the last 28 days.”
The number of critical cases thus far includes 4,88,861 patients who required ICU beds, 1,70,841 patients who required ventilator support and 9,02,291 patients who were given oxygen support, the Minister added.
As on date, Vardhan said, 1.34 per cent of the active caseload is in ICU, 0.39 per cent of them are on ventilators and 3.70 per cent of them are on oxygen support.
Vardhan informed the GOM that, “the cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 16.73 crore on Saturday which includes nearly 23 lakh doses given on Friday”.
“A total of 17,49,57,770 doses have been delivered to the states, out of which 16,65,49,583 doses have been consumed and 84,08,187 doses are still available with the states,” said the Minister, adding a total of 53,25,000 doses are on the pipeline and will be supplied to the states soon.
He requested the states to set aside 70 per cent of the vaccines received through GoI channel for administration of the second dose.
On the tests being conducted in India, the Health Minister noted that the country has reached a testing capacity of 25,00,000 tests per day. He informed that a total of 30,60,18,044 tests have been conducted so far in India, which includes 18,08,344 tests in the last 24 hours. From just one lab at NIV Pune, the country is presently served by 2,514 labs.
Andhra allocates Rs 310 cr for oxygen infrastructure
In the wake of unprecedented demand for oxygen due to the covid pandemic, the Andhra Pradesh government has decided to increase its oxygen production capabilities.
The state health department has issued orders allocating nearly Rs 310 crore for setting up oxygen production and supply infrastructure in the state.
According to the order, the funds will be utilised to set up oxygen plants at 49 locations, purchase of 50 cryogenic oxygen tankers, and setting up 10,000 additional oxygen lines in the state.
Towards maintenance of the oxygen plants, the department has allocated a sum of Rs 60 lakh per month, to each district, for the next six months.
Andhra Pradesh has been grappling with the covid pandemic, as cases hover around the 20,000-mark. During the course of the past two days, nearly 190 persons have succumbed to the pandemic.
Tata Memorial Centre to give 3,800 02 concentrators to cancer grid hospitals
The Tata Memorial Centre, which provides life-saving service to cancer patients, is also sourcing and allocating medical equipment for over 200 hospitals across India that are part of the National Cancer Grid (NCG).
On Sunday, it received 81,000 kg of medical equipment including 3,800 portable oxygen concentrators along with 300,000 N95 masks for distribution to hospitals across India.
These are the third and fourth shipments that the Tata Memorial Centre has brought in over the past two weeks.
Centre’s Director Rajendra Badwe said: “We have the singular focus of getting these units to the hospitals throughout India so that many can breathe well.”
The Tata Memorial Centre is a tertiary cancer centre under the Department of Atomic Energy, and sees up to 100,000 new cancer cases each year. Two-thirds of its patients are treated at a highly subsidised rate or completely free of charge.
National Cancer Grid’s Coordinator, Dr Pramesh, said: “We are collecting requests for equipment and consumables from hospitals across the NCG, and mapping the current incidence of Covid-19 infections to determine where the greatest needs are and prioritizing government and charitable organisations to finalise the allocation (of oxygen concentrators).”
Throughout the pandemic, the Tata Memorial Centre has been responsible for protecting cancer patients who are far more susceptible to an adverse event from Covid-19 than others. Adding to the risks that Covid-19 presents, the risk of untreated cancer looms large as it can be more fatal than the virus.
All seven of its centres across India — at Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Sangrur, Varanasi, Guwahati, Vishakhapatnam and Muzaffarpur — have continued cancer care throughout the pandemic. Together, they have managed to treat over 80,000 patients with cancer in spite of a raging pandemic. In addition, over 2,000 patients with cancer and Covid have been treated
In June 2020, the Tata Memorial Centre partnered with the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation and the Maharashtra government to help set up an ad-hoc 518 bed and 10 ICU bed Covid-19 facility at the NSCI Dome in Mumbai.
As soon as the second wave hit, its team of experts drew on this experience to identify lightweight, portable, high-flow oxygen concentrators that would have the maximum impact in saving lives, especially in hospitals that don’t have oxygen pipelines.
Asked how they had been able to respond so effectively to the recent shortage in oxygen supply, Badwe said: “Besides local industry stepping up production of medical grade oxygen, philanthropists like Tata Trusts and other NGOs in India helping procure large oxygenators, we have had an overwhelming response globally, with Indian diaspora and medical community joining hands in support.”
ACT Grants, Swasth Alliance, Feeding India To Donate 50k Oxygen Concentrators
ACT Grants (a not-for-profit movement created by the VC and start-up community in India), Swasth Alliance (a not-for-profit alliance of over 150 healthcare organisations) and Feeding India (a not-for-profit run by Zomato) are working towards the goal of sourcing and distributing 50,000 oxygen concentrators.
These oxygen concentrators will be donated across India free of cost, largely to various public health institutions and NGOs working for public health. Delhivery (logistics partner), Amazon (Logistics partner), Temasek Foundation (Sourcing and Funding partner), Paytm (Sourcing partner) and several others from the ecosystem are supporting this effort.
MyGov is supporting the initiative by ensuring proper coordination with various stakeholders involved, in particular the District Collectors for most optimal utiliSation of the oxygen concentrators.
These oxygen concentrators will be donated within the month of May. Over 2,500 concentrators have already been delivered, another 7,500 will be shipped in the next seven days, and the remaining will get delivered over the next three weeks in batches.
Given that demand for oxygen concentrators currently outstrips supply, an allocation methodology has been developed leveraging publicly available Covid-19 data. This methodology is further refined using predictive analytics generated by the Aarogya Setu ITIHAS interface (Developed by IIT Madras) for emerging hotspots.