Updated: May 19, 2021 3:59:21 am
The governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have announced steps to augment medical oxygen production facilities to cater to needs of Covid-19 patients.
In Andhra Pradesh, Efforts are on to revive the oxygen plant at Vizag Steel plant in Visakhapatnam which has the capacity to produce 850 Million Tonnes (MT) of oxygen but is only producing 100 MT currently due to technical glitches. The Eastern Naval Command (ENC) is repairing several defunct oxygen plants across several districts, which will help refill oxygen cylinders. The state has also requisitioned 10 ISO containers to transport oxygen to the state from various sources.
Presently, the state has received 80 MT every day from Jamnagar in Gujarat and 130 MT each day from Bellary in Karnataka — transported on the Oxygen Express train.
Deputy Chief Minister (Health) A K Krishna Srinivas said 590 MT oxygen per day has been allocated to the state by the Centre and the per-day demand is between 590 MT to 610 MT.
The Telangana government meanwhile has decided to set up 48 oxygen generation plants at various government hospitals in and around Hyderabad. These 48 plants will produce 324 MT of oxygen which would then be supplied to hospitals across the state.
According to officials, the 324 MT of oxygen produced in these 48 plants would be in addition to the oxygen supply allocated by the Centre.
During a Covid review meeting on Monday, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao directed officials to set up 6 units of 16 MT capacity oxygen plants, 15 units of 8 MT capacity, and 27 units of 4 MT capacity oxygen plants in Hyderabad city, Hyderabad district, and area government hospitals in and around Hyderabad. There is also a proposal to set up another 100 MT oxygen plant to supply around the state capital.
The government also asked oxygen producers to hand over 11 tankers — each with a capacity of 20 tonnes — within 10 days.
Both states are also preparing action plans to tackle black fungus infections found in some Covid-19 patients.
In Hyderabad, ENT Hospital and Gandhi Hospital have been designated to treat black fungus cases. According to officials, the necessary medicines have been ordered to combat the cases apart from 25 Microdebrider machines and HD Endoscopic cameras.
In Andhra, nine black fungus cases have been detected so for. Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy directed officials to bring black fungus under the Arogyasri Scheme so that poor people do not end up with hefty medical bills, and prepare a protocol to identify cases at an early stage.
As both states are providing Covid-19 patients free treatment, food and medicines at government hospitals, both Chief Ministers have asked people testing positive for the viral infection to get admitted at government hospitals.
In Telangana, as on Tuesday, there are 6,926 beds vacant in government hospitals — 2,253 Oxygen beds, 533 ICU beds and 4,140 general beds.
In Andhra Pradesh, there are 47,825 beds in 625 Covid care hospitals across the state, of which, 38,492 beds are occupied. There are 6,576 ICU beds, 23,463 non ICU oxygen beds, 17,246 non ICU non oxygen beds and 3,467 ventilators in the Covid hospitals, according to Health Department officials.
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