Ramakanta Biswas

With the BF.7-driven Covid-19 surge across the globe setting the alarm bells ringing, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry on Saturday wrote to all States and Union Territories (UTs) to ensure a functional and regular supply of medical oxygen for management of the pandemic. 

“Medical Oxygen is an important and vital resource in all clinical setting, particularly during pandemic management. Reliable oxygen supply is critical for saving lives during patient care and COVID-19 management,” Union Health Ministry said. 

In a letter to all states and union territories, Additional Secretary of the Union Health Ministry, Manohar Agnani said the operationalisation and maintenance of medical oxygen is of utmost importance.  

“Though the Covid cases in the Country are low and not surging as of now, to face any challenges arising in future, the operationalisation and maintenance of this medical infrastructure is of utmost importance,” Agnani said.

The states and union territories have been asked to ensure the following:  

i. PSA plants are kept fully functional and regular mock drills are being conducted to check them. 

ii. The availability of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LWO) in the health facilities and uninterrupted supply chain for their refilling should be ensured. 

iii. Adequate Inventory of Oxygen Cylinders along with backup stocks and robust refilling system is maintained. 

iv. Availability of functional Life Support Equipments such as Ventilators, BiPAP and Sp02 systems along with their consumables is there.

v. Oxygen control rooms should be reinvigorated at States/UTs level for prompt resolutions of oxygen related issues and challenges. 

vi. On-hoarding of all healthcare facilities utilising oxygen to ODAS platform for daily oxygen demand and consumption be monitored for implementation. 

“l am confident that with timely preparation and responsiveness, we will be able to meet the challenges associated with Covid-19, if any, that arise in future,” the Union Additional Secretary added.