UP oxygen near 1,000 tonnes/day, CM says state working 24x7 on supplies

Representational image (Photo: PTI)
Even as the demand for liquid medical oxygen (LMO) in the country continues to rise amid the second Covid-19 wave, the supply of the life-saving gas is nearing the 1,000-tonnes-per-day mark in Uttar Pradesh.

During the past 24 hours, the state witnessed supply and distribution of about 950 tonnes of LMO, and the government is now taking steps to increase supply further.

LMO has been supplied to the worst-affected districts of Lucknow and Kanpur by the Oxygen Express, and the special cargo trains are now being arranged for Gorakhpur and adjoining districts.

UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath today said the state government was working 24X7 to improve the LMO situation in other districts, including Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida), Ghaziabad and Saharanpur, which flank the National Capital Region (NCR).

In fact, the state is preparing to float a global tender for urgent procurement of cryogenic tankers to overcome the unfolding oxygen crisis. Currently, 89 tankers have been pressed into service to transport medical oxygen in UP.

Recently, the Centre had simplified the import of oxygen cylinders and cryogenic tankers in India, which is battling a stiff second wave. The union commerce and industry ministry would facilitate speedy online approval for such vital imports.

Meanwhile, the Adityanath government has intensified oxygen audit, which has also revealed disproportionate consumption of the commodity in some hospitals. The state is looking at ensuring seamless supply and demand based allocation of the commodity to the affected districts.

In wake of the improving O2 matrix in UP, the CM today directed health officials to arrange for 100,000 beds in level 1 and level 2 Covid hospitals. The state medical education department has been asked to arrange for oxygen supported Covid beds in the coming weeks. The state will also seek the cooperation of the private sector hospitals.

The government is working to ensure the ready availability of Covid drugs, such as Remdesivir. So far, the Centre has supplied nearly 0.5 million vials, which would suffice for utilisation in UP till May 16. The state administers these drugs for free in government hospitals.

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