Bhubaneswar, May 20 (PTI) Odisha which helped many states with supply of medical oxygen at the crunch moments during the ongoing second surge of COVID is further augumenting its oxygen generation facilities, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Thursday.
The eastern state which has surplus production of oxygen but is facing shortage of cylinders to fill it has sought 30,000 empty cylinders from the centre.
Official sources said that Odisha has supplied 17873.71 MT of medical oxygen to 14 states through 975 containers in the last 28 days when coronavirus was wreaking havoc.
Delhi, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana are among the beneficiaries of medical oxygen from Odisha during the crisis.
Within the state, the oxygen supply management is being monitored on an hourly-basis, Patnaik said.
Though hit severely by the second surge of coronavirus, Odisha did not face crunch of medical oxygen for the COVID patients in the state.
To plan for future oxygen requirement and better management, a task force has also been set up, the chief minister said.
Patnaik during the day virtually dedicated a Liquid Medical Oxygen plant facility at MKCG Medical College in Berhampur.
Optimistic that the new facility would help reduce pressure on oxygen cylinders in the MKCG medical college and hospital that caters to the needs of south Odisha districts, particularly Ganjam, Patnaik said the state government has been taking all possible measures to save precious lives.
Minister for Health and Family Welfare N K Das said that Odisha is now a leader in the fight against COVID under the direction of the chief minister.
He said that the Liquified Medical Oxygen plant has been built at a cost of Rs 2 crore. It has a production capacity of 20 thousand litres.
Meanwhile, the Aluminium major Vedanta Thursday handed over some filled cylinders for the treatment of the critically ill COVID-19 patients in Odisha.
The company which has two projects in the state, one at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district and another at Jharsuguda district, pledged that Vedanta will supply a total of 2000 oxygen cylinders to the state.
The Medical oxygen cylinders were handed over to the state government in Bhubaneswar in the presence of Nitin Jawale, Managing Director Industrial Promotion & Investment Corporation of Odisha Limited (IPICOL) and Yamini Sarangi, Managing Director of Odisha State Medical Corporation Limited (OSMCL).
'Vedanta stands firmly with the people of Odisha in the fight against COVID. As part of our efforts, we have supplied the oxygen cylinders to the state government so that uninterrupted oxygen supply is maintained for treatment of COVID patients,' said On Rahul Sharma, Dy. CEO Aluminium Business, Vedanta Ltd.
Jawle appreciated the initiative and said: 'Oxygen is now a critical requirement in saving the lives of the COVID- affected people. In such a crucial situation, it is appreciable that Vedanta has come forward and has taken the efforts to supply the oxygen cylinders to the government.' Vedanta said it has plans to further augment COVID management efforts by the state government by setting up about 300 bed COVID care facilities in Odisha.
In its areas of operations, Vedanta is supporting the District COVID Hospital at Jharsuguda in treating the affected populace from the region.
A report received from Jajpur district said that a non-resident Odia has donated as many as 5 Oxygen concentrators to the Jajpur district administration for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Sibashis Das, a native of Jajpur who presently works as Mechanical Engineer in Taranto of Canada has sent those Oxygen concentrators worth over Rs 4 lakh to Jajpur from Canada for the use in the hospitals for COVID patients.
Sibasish said these five oxygen concentrators were donated to the Jajpur district administration from his own source of income and three more oxygen concentrators would be given in the near future to extend some more assistance to the hospitals for saving the lives of covid-19 patients in Jajpur district.
The district administration sources said all five Oxygen concentrators would be put into use at the district headquarters hospital (DHH) for the treatment of covid-19 patients in the district. The equipment at the DHH have started functioning for the covid patients from Thursday. PTI AAM SNS SNS