With 16 of the 36 districts in Maharashtra witnessing a surge in corona cases, State Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte, in a letter to Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Tuesday, has sought the allocation of an additional 200MTs of oxygen. He has also requested the Centre to allocate 10 LMO (liquid medical oxygen) tankers to enable the state to procure its allocated LMO quota from the steel plant at Angul via the Roll On-Roll Off (RoRo) Oxygen Express.
Kunte’s letter said, “Maharashtra continues to face onslaught of second wave of COVID pandemic with current active caseload of 6,63,758, of which 78,884 cases admitted are on medical oxygen including 24,787 in ICU. Moreover, 16 districts viz Palghar, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Solapur, Nandurbar, Beed, Parbhani, Hingoli, Amravati, Buldhana, Wardha, Gadchiroli and Chandrapur are showing continuous growth in COVID active cases and oxygen requirement.
“However, considering this situation of rising medical oxygen demand, I request that the present allocation of the State be enhanced by at least 200 MT. This allocation may be enhanced at locations convenient to the State, otherwise earlier allocation from RINL, Vizag and Jindal Steel Plant, Angul, Odisha, remains on paper only.”
Kunte said he had requested enhanced allocation from Jamnagar, Gujarat, from the current 125 MT/day to 225 MT/day. Similarly, allocation from Bhilai was sought to be increased to 230 MT from current 130 MT, he added.
“These geographically close locations will reduce turnaround time of oxygen tankers, which are limited in number. This will also enhance our daily lifting and better demand management,” he wrote.
“It is also learnt that the Government of India is getting ISO Tankers from Singapore, Dubai and other locations abroad, besides oil companies and CONCOR to facilitate LMO transport,” wrote Kunte. He further requested the Centre to allocate at least 10 LMO tankers to Maharashtra “to enable us lifting of Gol allocated LMO quota from Steel Plant at Angul via RoRo”.
1L Remdesivir vials in next 10 days
Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar said that the state would get at least one lakh Remdesivir vials from various countries in the next 10 days as the state government had received responses from 13 international companies to its global tender. He hoped that the availability of these vials would help partially curb the Remdesivir shortage in the state.
As reported by The Free Press Journal, the state government had recently issued a global tender for the supply of 10 lakh Remdesivir vials, in the wake of rising demand. Wadettiwar said some companies had offered to provide 50,000-3 lakh vials. These vials would be available in the next 10 days to the state.
Wadettiwar said that the bidders had quoted different rates, in US dollars. “If the vials are priced in US dollars, GST will be added to the transportation cost. Bearing this in mind, the government will deciden considering the availability of Remdesivir quoted at lower price,” he added.
The minister reiterated that at least one lakh Remdesivir injections will be available in the next 10 days, from abroad. He noted that the additional stock would certainly help meet the rising demand.