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Maharashtra: FDA foresees oxygen shortage in coming days

As on Tuesday, more than 34,100 of the 4.5 lakh actively infected patients in Maharashtra were on oxygen support.

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai |
April 7, 2021 3:35:25 am
Maharashtra: FDA foresees oxygen shortage in coming daysAccording to estimates, oxygen requirement will double if active cases touch nine lakh. (File)

The state Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday expressed worry over inadequate oxygen supply in coming days, as its demand rises daily with an increase in Covid-19 cases.

As on Tuesday, more than 34,100 of the 4.5 lakh actively infected patients in Maharashtra were on oxygen support.

The active caseload is expected to touch nine lakh by April end, the state health department has informed the FDA and the medical education department.

According to estimates, oxygen requirement will double if active cases touch nine lakh. In February, when 150 to 200 MT oxygen was required across hospitals daily, but the demand shot to 650 to 750 MT by March end. As on April 6, consumption had touched 777 MT. Maharashtra’s maximum production limit is 1,250 MT oxygen per day.

State Secretary (Medical Education and Drugs) Saurabh Vijay on Tuesday held a meeting with the FDA to chart a plan for optimum oxygen utilisation. “There is some wastage during transportation and every day it is not possible for manufacturers to produce 1,250 MT. If we cross 900 to 1,000 MT oxygen requirement per day, there is a reason to worry,” a senior FDA official told The Indian Express.

Maharashtra is receiving 30 to 50 MT every day from Gujarat and is slated to receive 50 MT more from Chhattisgarh daily.

On Tuesday, in a meeting with Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope requested that other states be directed to divert oxygen supply to Maharashtra for handling the high number of Covid-19 patients.

FDA Commissioner Abhimanyu Kale said: “Currently, there is no shortage of oxygen except supply and distribution problems, which may occur sporadically in some districts.”

He said they have directed oxygen manufacturers to facilitate supply of 1.5-kg cylinder for treatment of patients at home.

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