The Centre on Sunday urged Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh to ensure adequate oxygen availability in all healthcare facilities and unrestricted intra- and inter-state movement of oxygen cylinders because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Union Health Ministry held a virtual meeting where Union Health Secretary, Secretary DPIIT and Secretary Pharmaceuticals participated. State Health Secretaries and Industries Secretaries of the seven states also participated in the meeting and discussed ways to ensure adequate oxygen availability in all healthcare facilities and unrestricted intra- and inter-state movement of oxygen, the statement stated.
Union Minister for Commerce and Industry and Railways Piyush Goyal addressed them. The states were advised to ensure facility wise/hospital wise oxygen inventory management and advance planning for replenishment so that there are no stockout, the health ministry said in a statement.
They were urged to ensure that no restriction is imposed on the movement of medical oxygen between states and UTs, and provision of green corridor for Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) Tankers within the cities.
Hospitals and institutions have long-term tender/contract agreement for supply of oxygen with manufacturers, which need to be honoured. Hence, states must not impose restrictions on free movement of oxygen, the statement underlined.
Timely payment of dues to the manufacturers and suppliers to maintain uninterrupted supply of oxygen was stressed. States were urged to improve power supply infrastructure and ensure uninterrupted supply to Oxygen Manufacturing Units, ensure proper disinfection of oxygen cylinders as per protocols while sending cylinders to fillers of oxygen.
They were also urged to ensure effective coordination with steel plants for oxygen procurement since steel plants provide approx. 550 MT/day oxygen in addition to oxygen manufacturers who provide 6,400 MT/day.