J'khand says moving towards becoming oxygen surplus state;to cater to needs of other states

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Ranchi, May 18 (PTI) Jharkhand on Tuesday said it is moving towards becoming a medical oxygen surplus state and is gearing up to cater to the needs of other states.

The state has constituted an oxygen task force to ensure uninterrupted supply of the life saving thing for patients.

Amid the state battling the second surge of COVID-19 pandemic, continuous efforts are being made to augment the health infrastructure and boost oxygen supply by setting up oxygen banks in all districts and plants in Sadar hospitals, a state government spokesperson said.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Monday had also inaugurated a 80-bed coronavirus care centre at West Bokaro in Ramgarh set up by Tata Steel.

'Despite limited resources, continuous efforts made by the government brought success....The government is working towards setting up an oxygen bank in all the districts and setting up an oxygen plant in the Sadar hospitals across the state.

'As of now, there is no shortage of oxygen supply in the state and Jharkhand is heading towards becoming an oxygen surplus state,' the spokesperson said.

Terming the second wave as 'worrying' and 'fatal', an official statement quoted the National Clinical Registry saying that issues related to breathing difficulties in the first wave was 41.7 per cent, which increased to 47.5 per cent in the second wave.

It said given the surge in demand for medical oxygen, the state machinery constituted task forces which worked on a war footing to map the medical oxygen supply chain in the state and ensured uninterrupted supply of oxygen to hospitals.

'As of April 2021, there were 12 oxygen refilling units in the state. These units could refill 6,000 to 7,000 cylinders per day. 315 tonnes of oxygen was being produced by five oxygen manufacturers operating in the state.

'By 22 April, this was increased to 570 tonnes per day.

The work of increasing the capacity of oxygen production in the state is still in progress,' the statement said.

It said there was a daily demand of 80 to 100 tonnes of oxygen in the state till April 22 while state could produce far more and oxygen was supplied to other states.

The statement said in April ,1824 new oxygen supported beds were made available in the entire state and efforts were made to ensure that at least 50 oxygen supported beds are available in every district.

At present, the number of oxygen supported beds in most districts is sufficient enough to meet the current demand, it added.

A new Covid Care Centre in the multi-level parking of RIMS, equipped with 327 oxygen supported beds was set up recently.

To ensure the availability of oxygen in the hospitals, Sanjeevani vehicles were introduced by the state which carry oxygen cylinders to hospitals in case of SOS. PTI NAM SNS SNS

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