Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala): Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking immediate enhancement of the state's daily oxygen supply to 450 metric tonnes (MT).
In the official letter, Kerala Chief Minister wrote, "I greatly appreciate that the Union and Kerala Governments have been effectively working together in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Presently, Kerala is witnessing a major surge of COVID-19 cases. The number of active COVID-19 cases aggregate to 4.19 lakh. In the second wave of the pandemic, the State is witnessing a significant increase in the number of patients who require critical care including oxygen support." "It may kindly be taken note of that the Government of Kerala is adhering to the decisions of the Empowered Group-ll, Government of India and continuing to supply liquid medical oxygen to other States, even though the oxygen situation in Kerala is already precarious", Vijayan informed.
"Meanwhile, the Indian Meteorological Department has issued a cyclonic storm warning forecasting heavy to very heavy rains and winds in parts of Kerala on 14th and 15th May, 2021. It is anticipated that there may be disruptions in electricity supply to oxygen generation plants and filling stations. There can also be disruptions in road transport which would impede timely oxygen supply necessary to save precious lives", informed Kerala CM.
"The current oxygen generation capacity in Kerala is 212.34 Metric Tonnes (MT) per day. Based on scientific projections, the total daily oxygen requirement for medical purposes in Kerala could rapidly rise to 423.60 MT within the next three days. At present, the storage of oxygen in hospitals is only for less than 24 hours", CM Vijayan wrote in the letter.
"As the State of Kerala will not be able to manage the oxygen demand without assistance from the Government of India, it is requested that Kerala's daily oxygen allocation may be immediately enhanced to 450 MT. It is also requested that at least 300 MT oxygen may be immediately rushed to Kerala from neighbouring storage points to augment the storage in hospitals in the wake of the impending cyclonic storm", Kerala Chief Minister informed.
The Kerala government announced a lockdown in the state from May 8-May 16 to curb the spread of the virus.