Updated: April 14, 2021 8:06:24 pm
With the number of Covid-19 patients requiring oxygen and ventilator beds on the rise, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) on Wednesday admitted that Pune district may face shortage of medical oxygen soon.
“Pune Division requires 355 metric tonne of oxygen supply every day. As per Tuesday’s figure, 340 metric tonne oxygen was demanded by hospitals and that’s why, on Wednesday morning, we had only 15 metric tonne oxygen available…The situation as of now is tight…,” FDA Joint Commissioner S B Patil told The Indian Express.
Patil said compared to the situation in January, when only 75 metric tonne oxygen was required by hospitals, the demand has gone up five times. “In the coming days, we expect the demand to rise further and we might have a problem on hand,” he said, adding that the state government was trying to get additional oxygen from neighbouring states. “… However, given the restrictions announced by the state government, we expect that Covid-19 cases will come down and hospitals will need less oxygen,” he said.
As of now, Patil said, “In Pune district, three plants in Chakan are taking care of the oxygen requirement of hospitals… In Kolhapur, one plant which is taking care of the districts of Kolhapur and Sangli. After taking care of the hospitals in Pune district, we are also sending oxygen to other districts like Satara, Ahmednagar, Solapur and Marathwada .”
The FDA said as per the state government’s directives, oxygen supply to industries has been stopped fully.
Sandee Belsare, president of Pimpri-Chinchwad Small Scale Industries Assocation, said, “The decision has affected 70 per cent of industries in the district. They rely heavily on oxygen supply for various processes carried out within their premises. If the situation prevails, the industries will have to shut shop, leading to job losses.”
Abhay Bhor, president of the Forum for Small Industries Association, said, “In Pimpri-Chinchwad, engineering and fabrication industrial units are heavily dependent on oxygen supply. In all, we believe 10,000 small, medium and large industrial units in Pimpri-Chinchwad and neighbouring industrial estates will be hit.”
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