COVID-19 in Maharashtra: State directs 80% oxygen supply for medical use

Amidst the rise in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, the Public Health Department, on Tuesday, directed manufacturers to supply 80% oxygen for medical use and 20% for industrial purposes till June 30. The supply has been fixed in the ongoing pandemic under the provisions of the Infectious Diseases Control Act, Disaster Management Act and Maharashtra Essential Services Act.

“COVID-19 patients in the state are in dire need of oxygen for treatment. In view of the daily increase in the number of patients, manufacturers have been instructed to increase the production of oxygen for medical purposes. Oxygen supply through the production centres in the state will be monitored to ensure smooth supply,” said the order.

For the implementation of today’s order, the Commissioner of Health and the Commissioner of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at the state level have been appointed as competent authorities. The Divisional Commissioners at the regional level have also been made a competent authority.

It must be mentioned here that the state government had issued a similar order in September last year amidst the shortage in Oxygen that was reported in various districts due to surge in patients. Thereafter, the government had directed the installation of oxygen plants. Accordingly, almost 30 districts have such plants now.

A senior officer from the Public Health Department told the Free Press Journal, “There are two main suppliers Inox Air Products and Linde India, which together produce 800 metric tonne liquid oxygen every day. Inox has four plants in Raigad, Pune and Nagpur. Linde has two plants in Raigad and Thane.” According to him, the units in Maharashtra have a total capacity to produce 1,210 metric tonne oxygen every day. Now, with today’s orders, suppliers will have to supply 80% for medical purposes and 20% for industrial use.

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