The Health Ministry's empowered group 2 (EG2), during a meeting on Thursday, decided to map oxygen sources for 12 high-burden states, identify 100 hospitals more for PSA plants and import 50,000 MT of medical oxygen.
During the group's review of essential medical equipment and oxygen amid a spike in COVID-19 cases, a mapping exercise was undertaken jointly by the Department for the Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Health Ministry, Steel Ministry, affected states, Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation along with key stakeholders to assess the sources of medical oxygen and the production capacity.
"Accordingly, 4,880 MT, 5,619 MT and 6,593 MT have been indicated to these 12 states for meeting their projected demand as on April 20th, April 25th and April 30th, respectively," a statement said.
Medical oxygen is a critical component in the treatment of COVID affected patients. There has been increasing demand for medical oxygen, especially from the 12 states with a high burden of active COVID cases, including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh Delhi, and Chhattisgarh. While the demand in Maharashtra is expected to go beyond the available production capacity of the state, MP does not have any production capacity to meet the demand for medical oxygen.
The EG2 has directed the Health Ministry to identify another 100 hospitals in far-flung locations to install PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) plants, which manufacture oxygen. This will help hospitals become self-sufficient in their requirement for medical oxygen and will reduce the burden on the national grid. Besides, 162 PSA plants have been sanctioned under PM-CARES to enhance the self-generation of oxygen in hospitals.
The empowered group also decided to float a tender to import 50,000 MT of medical oxygen. Health Ministry has been directed to finalise the tender and explore possible sources for import.