• otv
Rashmi Ranjan

Bhubaneswar: While the whole country is reeling under unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic coupled with medical oxygen shortage, Odisha has come to the rescue of many States by sending tons of the life-saving gas.

May it be Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh or Telangana, the lack of oxygen at government as well as private hospitals has collapsed the entire healthcare system and emerged as one of the major challenges in the treatment of Covid patients in these States.

Meanwhile, with the daily Covid-19 cases are going through the roof, the possibilities of oxygen shortage in Odisha cannot be ruled out.

Apprehending shortage of the life-saving O2 in the State, people in Bhubaneswar are seen queuing up outside private gas plants in Mancheswar to buy the gas.

“The situation will worsen in the future. Apprehending oxygen crisis, I want to stock up the gas at home to avoid any kind of untoward situation,” said a Bhubaneswar resident.

However, the scene is completely different in Sambalpur. The gas which used to be easily available in the market before the pandemic has now become dearer in the town and is rarely available in the open market.

“There is no oxygen stock in the market. We are facing problem to help people who are in the need of the gas,” said Atif Alam, a member of Social Star Club.

With the surge in Covid-19 cases, the requirement of medical oxygen at the premier SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack has witnessed more than two-fold increase. While the hospital earlier used to consume 300 oxygen cylinders a day, now the number has increased to 600.

Even though the hospital does not have its own oxygen plant, as of now there is no dearth of the lifesaving gas, said SCB emergency officer Bhubananda Moharana.

“At present we have 2900 cylinders and our daily consumption is 600 cylinders for both Covid and other patients. So for now, there is no shortage,” said Moharana.

Not only SCB, MKCG Hospital in Berhampur, VIMSAR in Burla don’t have own oxygen plants. While VIMSAR procures the gas from Jharsuguda and Sambalpur, MKCG needs 700-800 cylinders daily.

“As of now, there is no shortage of oxygen. If a liquid oxygen plant can be set up, then we will be independent and supply the life-saving gas,” said Professor Santosh Mishra, Superintendent, MKCG Hospital.

Notably, Odisha is producing 6,700 tons of oxygen daily at its 24 steel plants. While Tata Plant in Kalinga Nagar, Utkal Alumina, Jindal and Bhushan plants are producing 6000 tons each, the remaining 700 tons are being produced by other plants.

Odisha, so far, has sent 67 oxygen tankers to seven States in the last four days and special arrangements have been made for the smooth transportation of the gas, informed Yashwant Jethwa, ADG (Law and Order).

(Edited By Ramakanta Biswas)

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