West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention in the supply of Medical Oxygen (MO) to the state. Banerjee expressed concern over an expected shortfall of 242 metric tons of MO per day over the next 7-8 days and apprised the prime minister of the crisis.
“I wish to bring to your notice a very critical issue regarding supply of Medical Oxygen in West Bengal. In my earlier letter dated May 5, I had mentioned that the consumption of Medical Oxygen is increasing rapidly due to an increase in COVID positive cases in the State. It has gone up to 470 MT per day in the last 24 hours and expected to increase to 550 MT per day in the next 7 to 8 days,” the letter read.
She claimed that the Centre had increased allocation of MO for other states while it fixed a daily allocation of 308 MT for Bengal. She also highlighted that the present shortfall of MO in the state stood at 162 metric tons per day.
“However, instead of allocating the same as per the requirement of West Bengal, the Centre has increased allocation of Medical Oxygen to other States, from the total production in West Bengal, during the last 10 days from 230 MT to 360 MT, keeping the allocation for West Bengal constant at 308 MT per day despite its requirement being of 550 MT per day. It will not be out of place to mention that daily production of Medical Oxygen in our State is around 560 MT,” the letter further stated.
The chief minister said the daily consumption of oxygen in her state has gone up to 470 MT in the last 24 hours and is expected to increase to 550 MT per day in about a week.
Considering the situation ‘critical’, she requested PM Modi for an immediate allocation of at least 550 metric ton per day of Medical Oxygen preferably out of the total produced Medical Oxygen in West Bengal. “Any allocation of Medical Oxygen less than the requested amount will result in loss of lives of the patients in the State,” her letter read.
Banerjee also said that State Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay had already taken up the matter with the Union Health Secretary, and other senior officials, on numerous occasions for an urgent allocation of 550 MT of MO per day.
The state on Thursday reported the biggest daily spike in Covid-19 deaths with 117 fresh fatalities, taking the death toll to 11,964. A record 18,431 fresh infections took the state’s caseload to 9,35,066. The total number of active cases stand at 1,22,774.