Exploring Ways to Procure Oxygen from Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Says Maharashtra Minister

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Considering the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, the state Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) is exploring possibilities of procuring oxygen from neighbouring states of Chhattisgarh and Gujarat to meet the demand. Speaking to PTI, state FDA minister Rajendra Shingne said Maharashtra produces 1,200 tonnes of oxygen every day, but the consumption is increasing drastically.

"Currently, the state requires 1,500 to 1,600 tonnes of oxygen daily. To bridge this gap, we are exploring the possibility of procuring oxygen cylinders from Gujarat and Chhattisgarh for the time being," the minister said. Maharashtra has added over 40,000 cases daily in the last one week.

One COVID-19 patient generally takes 10 to 15 days to recover and consumes five litres of oxygen per day. At least 5,64,746 COVID-19 patients in the state are being treated in hospitals or at their homes.

"Based on these figures, we have arrived at the estimated daily requirement of 1,500 to 1,600 tonnes of oxygen in the next week. There is a buffer stock of some 1,400 tonnes of oxygen, but it might get exhausted if the demand surges," he said. "The FDA has contacted some producers in Bhilai of Chhattisgarh. However, going by the rising cases in those respective states, we may not get the supply for a long time.

In such a situation, we also need to ramp up local production of oxygen," the minister said.

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