Amidst reports of the scarcity of oxygen faced by hospitals in a couple of towns and villages, Minister of Public Health Rajesh Tope said it will be mandatory for government hospitals to set up liquid oxygen plants. He informed that the local administration has been directed to set up a liquid oxygen plant in each of the 200-bed hospitals of the Public Health Department situated across the state. This is expected to provide a much needed relief in the availability of oxygen locally, especially when COVID-19 cases are increasing rapidly.
Tope has asked the administration of every district not to depend on oxygen cylinders, but use funds from the District Planning Committee or procure funds from the Public Health Department for the establishment of liquid oxygen plants in government hospitals. "The need for oxygen has increased, so we have made it mandatory for every district hospital to set up an oxygen plant," he said.
Further, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who holds the Planning and Finance Department, has asked the Divisional Commissioners to ensure that there is no shortage of oxygen in Pune, Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara and Solapur, which are reporting a daily hike in COVID-19 cases. He further directed that senior officers appointed in these districts for the implementation of containment measures should work in coordination so that no patient dies due to the lack of oxygen.
Pawar suggested that oxygen tankers should be equipped with an ambulance-like siren to save transportation time. This will help the tanker operator to supply oxygen to the hospitals without delay. He asked the police department to make efforts to facilitate the smooth access of oxygen tankers so that they don’t get stuck in traffic.