Author: Narpat Dan Barhath
A large number of ill people from Kovid-19 are making inquiries about medical oxygen cylinders through phone and social media, but the cylinders are not being found. The government claims that oxygen is excessively present, yet in many states including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, deaths of Kovid-19 patients are continuing due to lack of oxygen.
Medical oxygen is included in the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines. Corona virus damages the lungs of patients, causing the oxygen level in the body to fall. Then the patient needs to be
Oxygen acts as a life-saving for Kovid-19 patients. However, not all patients need it. Medical professionals state that the level of oxygen in the blood of a normal person is between 94 and 100 percent. If a person’s oxygen level in the blood is below 94 per cent on average (three full day readings), he should contact the doctor immediately. If this level falls to 90 percent or less, the patient needs to be hospitalized. According to doctors, oxygen is required in 10 to 12 percent of cases nowadays.
According to the government, about 7200 metric tons of oxygen is being produced in the country right now. Of this, about 50 per cent is used for medical needs, the remaining half for industrial needs. There are 10–12 large manufacturers producing medical oxygen in India, while there are more than 500 small gas plants. In addition, oxygen is mainly used in the steel and glass industry. Gujarat-based Inox Air Products is the largest manufacturer of medical oxygen in India. After this, Delhi-based Goyal MG Gases, Kolkata-based Linde India and Chennai-based National Oxygen Limited are also its major producers.
According to the Ministry of Health, on April 12, 2021, 3,842 metric tons of medical oxygen was consumed in the country, but 7120 metric tons was made. If this is the case then why is there a lack of oxygen in the states? Actually, there are oxygen, but there are very few tanks or cylinders in the country, which can store oxygen or be able to supply it for 24 hours. Liquid oxygen is highly flammable. They are transported from one place to another in cryogenic tanks to avoid any accidents. For one, there are very few such tankers in the country, and those that are, they too are not allowed to run at speeds above 40 kmph and after 10 pm. Such transportation is taking a long time to replace the oxygen need, the result of which is seen as a great outcry for Oxygen.
Not every state also has oxygen plants. Most of the oxygen in Delhi and Punjab comes from Haryana. Uttarakhand gives oxygen to Rajasthan. Oxygen is given to Madhya Pradesh from Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh. In such a situation, when the oxygen is transported from one state to another, the travel time from the manufacturer to the patient’s bed increases from 6 to 8 days. Then it takes up to 24 months to start a new oxygen plant. Apart from this, there is also a shortage of cylinders, people are not returning cylinders. The government runs at its own pace, but if they return the empty cylinders of oxygen, if they return them, then the situation can be handled to some extent.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the author’s own
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