Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday said that the state needs 500 metric tonnes of oxygen from other states. At present 1,250 metric tonnes of oxygen is being produced in the state and about 300 metric tonnes of oxygen is being supplied from other states, he said. He added that a request has been made to the Central government to supply about 500 metric tonnes of oxygen from other states in view of the growing demand.
"At present there are 6 lakh 85 thousand active COVID-19 patients in the state. It is estimated that about 10 to 15 per cent of these patients may require oxygen. The state currently produces 1,250 metric tonnes of oxygen, which is used exclusively for medical purposes. Apart from that, about 300 metric tonnes of oxygen is being supplied to Maharashtra from Jamnagar, Bhilai and Bhillari. A request has been made to the Central Government to increase it further to 500 metric tonnes," Tope said.
A total of 1,550 metric tonns of oxygen is being used in the state at present. It is being distributed under the control of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the concerned District Collector, said Tope. There are six places in the state where oxygen is produced but it cannot be transported due to a lack of bottling plant facilities. Therefore, a decision is being taken to build temporary hospitals with a capacity of 500 beds in each of these six places, the Health Minister added. These six places are Pen, Thal, Wardha, Khaparkheda, Paras, and Parli.
Moreover, Tope said the Central government is going to import about 50,000 metric tonns of oxygen. This will benefit the state too, he added.