Ready to touch Centre’s feet for medical oxygen supply: Rajesh Tope

Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope said he is ready to touch the Centre’s feet for an increase in the oxygen supply needed to treat rising COVID 19 patients in the state. He further stated that the state government will send a fresh SoS to the Centre for increasing the oxygen supply in view of constraints in meeting the rapidly rising demand for the same amid galloping COVID 19 cases.

“The Centre has powers to allocate oxygen so it needs to make available increased supply through green corridors at the earliest. Till the Centre gives additional supply, the state will have to rely on oxygen supply from generating plants and explore an option of procurement from the industry,’’ said Tope. He noted that ‘’The state government is willing to do everything to save the lives of people. We are making an extremely polite request. even ready to touch the Centre's feet to get the required quantity of the liquid medical oxygen."

"The rights of oxygen distribution among the states are in the hands of the Union government. They should exercise their rights and ensure that Maharashtra gets more oxygen," he said.

Tope’s statement came a day after he said the Centre needs to supply 500 Metric Tonnes. This will be in addition to nearly 300 MT of oxygen supplied from other states.

“At present there are 6.85 lakh active COVID-19 patients in the state. It is estimated that about 10 to 15 percent 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 Bellary. The state government has made a request to the Central Government to increase it further to 500 metric tonnes," Tope said.

“We are anticipating that 15 per cent of currently active cases may need oxygen. As of now, we have arrangements of 1550 MT of oxygen in the state. We're trying to distribute the same. We are also expecting the Oxygen which the Government of India will import,” said Tope. He added that the Central government is going to import about 50,000 metric tonnes of oxygen. This will benefit the state too, he added.

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