The Centre has reduced the supply of liquid medical oxygen to Maharashtra from Karnataka by 50 metric tonnes (MT), a move which will have severe impact on treatment of COVID-19 patients in the state, health minister Rajesh Tope said on Thursday.
He said the issue of reduction in liquid medical oxygen supply to Maharashtra, which has the maximum number of active cases in the country, should be raised with the Union health ministry.
Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, Mr Tope said, the Union government today reduced the allocation of liquid medical oxygen from Karnataka by 50 metric tonnes.
“It will have severe impact on the ongoing treatment of COVID-19 patients in Maharashtra. It is necessary to raise the issue with the Union health ministry and other officials concerned.”
He said the state government is setting up Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) medical oxygen plants to increase production of the life-saving gas used in treatment of serious coronavirus patients.
“Maharashtra is currently consuming 1,750 MT of (medical) oxygen,” he said.
The only ray of hope for the state is installation of 28 PSA plants. The state has given orders for 150 PSA plants which will commence in the coming days, he said.
Mr Tope said liquid medical oxygen is among the key tools needed to deal with the pandemic.
If oxygen supply is not resumed, we will face serious shortage. We will have to get more oxygen from the Centre in this period (till PSA plants start functioning), he said.
PSA is a technology that is used to separate gas species from a mixture of gases under pressure.
A fortnight ago, 22 COVID-19 patients died in a civic hospital in Nashik after oxygen supply to them was disrupted due to a leakage in the storage tank.