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22 states seek oxygen! Demand for life-saving gas increases to 67%

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covid, oxygencovid, oxygenThe demand for life-saving gas has spread from 12 states on April 15 to as many as 22 states on April 24. (image: PTI)

In nine days, the demand for medical oxygen has increased 67% to April 24, as per information collated from oxygen allocation orders that were issued by the Health and Family Welfare Ministry. It further shows the demand for life-saving gas has spread from 12 states on April 15 to as many as 22 states on April 24. According to an IE report, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had written to the Principal Secretaries/Additional Secretaries/Secretaries (Health) of 12 states on April 15 informing them about the allocation of oxygen against their demand for the week starting April 20. These 12 states are Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Delhi.

Bhushan, in his letter, as quoted in the IE report, provided information on the generation units from which these 12 states were being provided with the life-saving gas. For the week beginning April 20, the states demanded medical oxygen of 4,880 metric tonnes in total, and allocations were made accordingly.

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The report said another letter on April 24 by Nipun Vinayak, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s Joint Secretary to state health officials informed them about oxygen allocation against their demand from April 25 onwards. It showed that the number of states needing allocation of oxygen from the central government has risen to 22. With this, their combined demand had also risen to 8,172 MT of oxygen per day, which is 67% more than the demand shown in the Health Secretary’s letter dated April 15.

As per Vinayak’s letter, the central government had allocated medical oxygen of 8,280 MT a day to these 22 states. The new states demanding the gas are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Goa, Uttarakhand, J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, West Bengal, Bihar, Dadra and Nagar Haveli Daman and Diu. Vinayak further said in the letter that the supply plan of oxygen has been prepared under the overall guidance of the Empowered Group by the DPIIT in consultation with oxygen manufacturers, concerned ministries, states, as well as AIIGMA.

For the week starting April 25, the top five states in India with the highest medical oxygen demand are Maharashtra (1,784 MT per day), Gujarat (1,000 MT per day), Karnataka (770 MT per day), Uttar Pradesh (657 MT per day) and Madhya Pradesh (640 MT per day). Of the 22 states which were allocated life-saving gas on April 24, a higher quantity has been allocated to four states against their demand, four states have been given a lower allocation of oxygen in comparison to their demand, while 14 states have been allocated the quantity demanded by them.

The states, which have been allocated oxygen more than their demand are- Uttar Pradesh (857 MT per day against demand of 657 MT); Karnataka (802 MT per day against demand of 770 MT); Delhi (490 MT per day against demand of 470 MT); and MP (649 MT per day against demand of 640 MT). The states, which have been allocated oxygen less than their demand are: Haryana (allocation of 162 MT per day against demand of 180 MT); Gujarat (975 MT per day against demand of 1,000 MT); Punjab (137 MT per day against demand of 187 MT); and Tamil Nadu (280 MT per day against demand of 220 MT).

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