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Sunday, May 16, 2021

Maharashtra: Plans to import oxygen concentrators, PSA plants, tankers, LMO, remdesivir

On Tuesday, Maharashtra recorded 895 deaths, which is the highest ever for the state in a single day.

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai |
Updated: April 28, 2021 1:14:24 am
Maharashtra coronavirus cases, Maharashtra Oxygen, Maharashtra Remdesivir, Maharashtra COVID-19, Maharashtra news, indian expressA man loads an oxygen cylinder into a cab in Mumbai on Saturday. (Express Photo: Pradip Das)

The state Disaster Relief Force (SDRF) will float an expression of interest to import 40,000 oxygen concentrators, 132 pressure swing adsorption (PSA) plants, 27 oxygen tankers, 25,000 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) and 10 lakh remdesivir vials.

On Tuesday, Maharashtra recorded 895 deaths, which is the highest ever for the state in a single day. It also has 6.72 lakh active Covid-19 patients. On the day, 66,358 new cases were recorded. The death toll has touched 66,179 and total reported cases now stand at 44 lakh.

While earlier Maharashtra estimated the active case pool to touch 11 lakh by May, the state is now optimistic that active cases may not rise above seven to eight lakh as daily cases have stagnated between 65,000 and 67,000 per day.

The public health department extended requirement to SDRF to procure life-saving oxygen on April 24. Health officials have estimated that the cost of concentrators, tankers and liquid medical oxygen will come up to Rs 800 crore.

“We estimate the state’s daily oxygen requirement to be between 1,700 to 2,000 MT in the coming days. Right now, it is 1,650 MT. To prepare for a rise in demand, we decided to import 25,000 tonnes of LMO,” a health official said.

All government hospitals combined have a storage capacity of 1,500 MT of oxygen in the state. If a larger batch is imported, then LMO will be stored in storage tankers of oxygen manufacturers and iron and steel plants. Officials said oxygen manufacturers and iron and steel plants have a capacity of 8,000 to 9,000 MT.

“The SDRF had funds. When it asked us to provide a list of items we need, we drew up a list of all oxygen-related items that are short in supply,” a health official said.

Meanwhile, out of 10 PSA plants approved by the Centre, nine have been installed and the tenth was installed on Tuesday at government hospitals across the state.

State health minister Rajesh Tope said hospitals had to follow strict guidelines for judicious oxygen use at seven litres per minute for patients in normal wards and 15 litres per minute for patients on non-invasive ventilator.

“Oxygen supply is being monitored and we will soon have district-wise information on incoming and utilisation of oxygen. We are also checking if surplus is going to some districts and if it can be diverted to other districts,” Tope said.

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