The state government is procuring 6,000 empty cylinders, along with a provision to procure 3,000 more “if need arises”, as a part of its preparations to combat any crisis in the coming weeks.
Last month, the state had announced it was setting up 55 oxygen plants in various government hospitals to meet the demand in the coming weeks. Empty cylinders will be required to store and transport oxygen to various hospitals and satellite facilities where Covid-19 patients might be admitted.
In the past few weeks, it has been noticed that on several occasions, the oxygen is available but there are no cylinders to transport them as some people tend to hoard them.
“The government has already floated the tender and the process of procurement has already started,” said a health department official. “This is a part of our preparations as government is already setting up oxygen plants in several hospitals. We will need the cylinders to store and transport oxygen,” said the official.
In the last week of April, the state government had said there was no oxygen deficit in the state as it produces 475 mt daily while the demand is 223 mt daily. But the situation has been fast evolving and cases have been rising daily with demand of oxygen going up. Several private facility providers are importing cylinders from China, too.
“The demand has increased and it might go up in the coming weeks which is why the government wants to be prepared. It has been noticed that most critical patients have low oxygen saturation and require oxygen,” said the official.
On Sunday, 15 oxygen cylinders and oxygen concentrators arrived from Odisha. Last week, 75 oxygen cylinders arrived from Ranchi. All the cylinders have been stored at a government facility in north Kolkata and will be sent to hospitals according to the demand.
“We are taking reports from all centres on a daily basis and trying to assess how much the demand is rising. The oxygen cylinders will be dispatched depending on the demand,” said an official of Central Drug Store of the health department.
Along with cylinders, the government is also procuring oxygen concentrators from various sources.
Source: Times of India