Sunday, December 5, 2021

Punjab’ oxygen demand for 105-110 MT could shoot up

Punjab’s demand for medical oxygen has increased manifold during the Covid-19 second wave. While the average demand for medical oxygen was 15-20 metric tons before the pandemic last year, it has shot up to 105 to 110 MT currently.

As the state is fearing that the caseload of Covid-19 would go up in the coming week, it may require 150-170 MT every day. While the state has already diverted 50 per cent oxygen being supplied to the industry to the hospitals, concerns are mounting as Haryana has refused supply to other states on the plea that they will first ensure supply to their hospitals.

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Punjab gets liquid oxygen supplies from Inox at Baddi, Himachal Pradesh; Air Liquide, Panipat, & Roorkee; and Linde, Selaqui, Dehradun, as there is no Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) plant within the state. These units supply 90 MT to the state but with Haryana refusing any supplies, the state had to divert the supplies to hospitals by cutting down on the supplies to the industry.

Punjab’s Minister for Medical Education and Research O P Soni said, “The demand of oxygen has spiralled in the past few days. Our three medical colleges and hospitals in Patiala, Amritsar and Faridkot alone are using 65 MT every day. The situation is going to worsen in the coming days as per the projections of experts. There are 550 Covid patients in medical colleges alone and 75 per cent of these are Level 3. They need a lot of oxygen supplies. We are making sure we have enough supplies. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has already sent an SOS call to Centre. We are on the top of the situation and are working 24×7. The CM is himself handling the situation personally so that we do not go down the Delhi way.”

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