Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday said the state government, amid rising demand for medical oxygen due to surge in COVID 19 cases, has made it mandatory for the private hospitals to set up oxygen generation plants on a priority basis. Besides, small hospitals with 10 beds will be urged to purchase Oxygen concentrators at the earliest. This is in addition to the installation of oxygen generation plants by the district general hospitals.
Tope asked both the public and private hospitals to take all the possible measures to curb leakages in the use of oxygen during the present pandemic. Tope and FDA minister Dr Rajendra Shingane reviewed the present status of oxygen availability. He said the state is meeting daily demand of 1,400 metric tonnes both from the producers within the state and also from various other states as lined up by the Centre. He added that efforts are on to procure 200 MTs from JSW from its Raigad plant.
Tope said that the government as announced by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is pursuing with the Centre for the oxygen supply through air. This is needed considering the constraints in the transportation of oxygen from Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka.
“I held a meeting with the Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte on roping in companies involved in the production of oxygen from air. This needs to be expedited to tide over the rising demand which is expected to be 2,000 MT per day by the end of April,” he noted.
On the present shortage of Remdesivir injections, Tope said the government expects an increase in its supply in the next 4-5 days. “The state government has urged the Centre to allow the sale of stock by exporters as the Remdesivir exports have been banned. This will increase the supply in the market,” he added.
According to the minister, the Remdesivir supply to private hospitals will be done only based on the active patient factor. “However, there is an urgent need by the private and public hospitals for the judicious use of Remdesivir injections as per the recommendations of the Task Force on Covid-19,” said Tope.
In the wake of galloping Covid-19 cases, Tope has asked the administration to go for institutional quarantine and not home quarantine for Covid positive patients. He also directed the administration to increase the pace of RT-PCR tests.
“Try to get the RTPCR test report within 24 hours. The dash boards and helplines should be set up in every district. Private vehicles should be hired to transport the affected patients,” he said.
“There is a need to increase contact tracing and for those districts which have less number, manpower should be made available from other departments with the help of the District Collector, Municipal Commissioner, Chief Executive Officer of Zilla Parishad. This is important to find close associates of positive patients,” said Tope.