Advanced systems to ensure oxygen availability in Kerala; 510 metric tons of oxygen stored

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Thiruvananthapuram: With the number of patients increasing by more than 30,000 per day, Health Minister K.K. Shailaja Teacher convened a special high-level meeting to ensure oxygen availability in the state. The meeting was a follow-up to a meeting of district-level officials chaired by the Principal Secretary, Department of Health yesterday.

The meeting specifically discussed the daily production, distribution, use and preparation of oxygen in the state in proportion to the gradual increase in the number of impending patients. Currently, 220 metric tons of oxygen is available in government hospitals. Approximately 100 metric tons of oxygen is required for both Kovid treatment and non-Kovid treatment. After delivery, the oxygen production facility has an oxygen reserve of 510 metric tons. The meeting specifically discussed the various possibilities of increasing the stockpile to 1000 MT to withstand any adverse conditions.

The various District Collectors have paid special attention to the possible increase in the availability of oxygen as per the demand of the treatment centres being set up in the districts in proportion to the increase in the number of patients. The meeting also discussed possible alternatives in this regard. Oxygen audit committees will be set up at the state, district and hospital levels for the most efficient utilization of available oxygen. It was decided to take precautionary measures to minimize oxygen leakage in connection with the treatment centres and to coordinate a timely training program for the officers handling the oxygen cylinders.

Currently, liquid oxygen tanks are installed in many hospitals but the problem of authorization is seen. This is the PESO. The authorities were contacted and directed to resolve the matter as soon as possible and ensure continuous oxygen supply. In view of the declining availability of bulk oxygen cylinders across the country, it was decided to capture bulk oxygen cylinders, nitrogen cylinders and argon cylinders for industrial use under the supervision of collectors on a district basis and convert them into medical oxygen cylinders through an air separation unit as soon as possible.

The South Indian head of PESO, who is the Oxygen Regulator, Dr Venugopal Nambiar, Principal Secretary, Department of Health; Rajan N. Khobragade, N.H.M. State Mission Director Dr Ratan Khelkar, KMSCL M.D. Dr Dileep and district collectors also attended the meeting.