May 6, 2021 4:27:47 am
Facing an increased burden of Covid cases on its medical infrastructure, the Kerala government has demanded an allotment of 1,000 metric tonnes of liquid oxygen from the Centre’s share of imports.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged that the External Affairs Ministry be advised to allot the required quantity partially from the current tranche of imports and the rest from future imports in view of depleting stocks due to heavy demand. The Kerala government has also demanded tankers, PSA plants, oxygen concentrators and ventilators as the state has the country’s third largest active caseload — the tally rose to 3.75 lakh with 41,953 new cases on Wednesday.
“Oxygen stock is decreasing very rapidly. We need the Centre’s help in maintaining adequate stock of oxygen. Kerala should be allotted 500 MT as the first installment from the current import quota. Another 500 MT may be allotted in the next phase,’’ Vijayan told the media after a review meeting, adding that there was a rise in demand due to an increase in the number of patients.
The Chief Minister said that 61 per cent of oxygen beds in medical colleges and 51.28 per cent in other government hospitals are already occupied, and only 33 per cent of oxygen beds are vacant in private hospitals. Besides, 61.3 per cent of ICU beds in government hospitals are already in use by Covid and non-Covid patients. He said 27.3 per cent of ventilators in the government sector and 24.7 per cent in the private sector are in use, he said.
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