Step up indigenous production of medical oxygen: Amarinder - ECAS Punjab

Step up indigenous production of medical oxygen: Amarinder

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Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14

With Covid cases and fatality in the state rising, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday directed the Health Department to step up indigenous manufacturing of medical oxygen to supplement the current supplies in order to ensure that there was no shortage of this critical commodity to tackle any future crisis.

The state, which has been procuring all its medical oxygen from neighbouring areas, has now decided to go in for local manufacturing to meet any shortfall that could arise with spiking Covid cases. Till now, Punjab was procuring all its medical oxygen supplies from other states, including Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.

In line with this decision, the Health Department has so far issued licence to one industrial oxygen supplier in the state to manufacture medical oxygen, while six packaging units have been allowed to package oxygen for medical use. With this, the state now has internal capacity to manufacture 800 medical oxygen cylinders and packaging of 2,000 units per day and the government hopes that with the supplies already being procured from other states, this would help cope with any further escalation in demand in the coming weeks.

The state government has also appointed a nodal officer to monitor the supply and demand of medical oxygen amid spiralling cases and the Chief Minister has asked the Health Department to ensure that indigenous production and packaging was further scaled up to meet any eventuality.

During a virtual meeting to assess the situation arising out of the pandemic, the CM directed the department to ensure that there was no shortage of oxygen for treatment of Covid patients.

The Chief Minister was informed that the state currently had adequate supplies of oxygen to meet the demand triggered by an increasing number of cases. He was further told that of the 6,653 Covid patients admitted at the government medical colleges (GMCs) in the state, 5,269 had recovered and been discharged, with 550 still under treatment.

Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan apprised the meeting that Punjab was following the 10-day discharge policy as per ICMR guidelines.



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