Ensure no gap in Oxygen supply: Centre to states

New Delhi, Dec 15 The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday asked the states and UTs to review and monitor the status of oxygen concentrators, ventilators, oxygen cylinders, Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) plants and Medical Gas Pipeline systems (MGPS) on a daily basis to ensure that the gap between the equipment and systems delivered to the districts and installed at the healthcare facilities is reduced to zero.

The Centre has asked the state nodal officers to streamline coordination with Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), HLL Infra Tech Services Limited (HITES) and Central Medical Services Society (CMSS) for resolution of electricity related and site related issues for ensuring quick operationalization of the entire medical oxygen supply infrastructure.

In a virtual meeting with states and UTs to review their preparedness regarding Medical Oxygen devices and systems, LMO Plants, Oxygen Concentrators and others, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan underlined that medical oxygen is an essential public health commodity and its uninterrupted supply in sufficient quantity is of critical importance to tackle the pandemic.

It was also pointed out to the states that ECRP-II funds have been sanctioned for installation of 958 LMO Storage Tanks and medical gas pipeline systems in 1,374 hospitals. States were advised to utilize this opportunity to enhance domestic oxygen production capacity and ensure the completion, installation and commissioning of medical gas pipelines in government hospitals expeditiously.

The states have been asked to schedule and conduct mock drills of all installed and commissioned PSA Plants to ensure functionality so that the oxygen with the required quantity, pressure and purity reaches the intended patients at their bedside. These drills are to be completed by the end of December 2021. The states were also requested to complete the pending Oxygen Audit reports and submit this through the designated portal by the end of December 2021.

The Health Ministry is conducting training programmes to build and enhance capacities of technicians and clinicians for operation and maintenance of the PSA plants and other medical oxygen related infrastructure. As on date, a total of 3,236 PSA plants have been installed in the country from various sources with a total commissioned oxygen capacity of 3,783 MT.

Moreover, 1,14,000 Oxygen Concentrators are being provided to states under PM CARES and ECRP-II, said the ministry in a statement.

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