Oxygen supply to hospitals in ‘difficult situation’: TN in Madras HC

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on May 06, 2021

Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan   -  The Hindu

‘Consumption is 450 tonnes against installed capacity of 400 tonnes’

Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan on Thursday submitted a status report to the Madras High Court on medical oxygen, Covid-19 vaccination, beds availability and Remdesivir in line with the Court’s orders of May 5 on a Suo Motu writ petition.

With increase in active cases and the adequate allocation to the State, the Centre has been addressed to release the revised central oxygen allocation plan which has taken into account the actual oxygen consumption of the State.

There is also an urgent need to rationalise the supplies as agreed to in the official level discussions so that logistically the State is able to efficiently utilise the production from Inox Sriperumbudur, which has been supplying medical oxygen to both government and private hospitals in Chennai.

‘Increasing demand’

Tamil Nadu has a daily installed capacity for around 400 tonnes of liquid oxygen. Currently, the State is using 450 tonnes for medical purposes, and the demand is expected to increase due to Covid-19 outbreak and active cases crossing 1.25 lakh. “Delay in release of the agreed finalised medical oxygen allocation plan has put the State’s oxygen supply to hospitals in a difficult situation and forced us to make ad hoc management, which is not sustainable,” he said. On oxygen production at Sterlite in Thoothukudi, Radhakrishnan said that initially it is likely to produce 35 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen daily and can be obtained only in a week’s time.

The overall bed occupancy rate in Covid-19 hospitals was 67.62 per cent in government facilities and 71.22 per cent in private. The occupancy rate of oxygen and ICU beds is 95 per cent. To increase availability of oxygen beds through the Public Works Department 12,915 beds are being provided with oxygen lines and so far 3,752 have been put into use, and 8,129 beds are expected to be ready on May 8.

Radhakrishnan said as on date 71.60 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered. A total of 6.14 doses of vaccines stock is available.

’Úsing reserve stock’

With regard to availability of Remdesivir, Radhakrishnan said the Centre had allocated 1.35 lakh vials up to May 9 as against the pending orders of 2.5 lakhs. Due to the inadequate allotment, Tamil Nadu Services Corporation is drawing down from its reserve stocks and continuing the supply at the counter for private patients

Radhakrishnan prayed that the Court may accept the status report and pass appropriate orders.

Published on May 06, 2021

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