Neighbouring states unable to supply oxygen to Maha: Tope

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Mumbai, Apr 14 (PTI) Maharashtra has approached neighbouring states for medical oxygen supply amid the COVID-19 surge, but they have expressed their inability due to its high demand there, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Wednesday.

Talking to reporters here, Tope said Maharashtra will have to reduce the wastage of medical oxygen as it is in high demand now.

Medical-grade oxygen is used for the treatment of critical COVID-19 patients and in other cases of respiratory diseases.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday said there is a shortage of medical oxygen and the Centre should help supply it for coronavirus patients in the state by using Air Force planes.

On Wednesday, Tope said, 'We have approached all the neighbouring states like Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat to supply oxygen for medical purpose, but owing to their own rising demand, these states have expressed their inability to supply oxygen.' Hence, Maharashtra needs to reduce its wastage and work on fixing its leakages (wherever found), he said.

On Monday, Tope said plants in Maharashtra are producing 1,200 metric tonnes of oxygen per day and the entire stock is being used for medical purposes in view of the rising COVID-19 cases.

The demand is expected to go up to 1,500 to 1,600 metric tonnes every day, state Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Minister Rajendra Shingne said on Tuesday.

Tope earlier said the state government has decided to set up plants in hospitals which can separate and purify oxygen from the atmosphere and provide it to patients. PTI ND GK GK