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50% of oxygen production mandated for hospitals

Ahmedabad: Several hospitals across India have started complaining of lack of oxygen over the past few weeks. In Gujarat, the state government has passed an order asking the suppliers to not just up their production of oxygen but also ensure that 50% of the production goes to hospitals.

In the notification, the oxygen suppliers have been asked to ensure that the production is ‘uninterrupted and at their maximum production capacity’.

Even in cases where the requirement of oxygen for hospitals is beyond the stipulated 50% quota, the producers should cater to the demands. A failure to do so would lead to punishment under IPC Section 188, state food and drug control administration (FDCA) officials said.

“The decision is taken in light of the ever-rising demand for oxygen due to Covid-19,” Dr HG Koshia, FDCA commissioner.

He also informed that the state presently uses about 250 tonnes of oxygen a day and has 50 active manufacturers as well as 52 licence holders.

“However, the issue of raw material – liquified oxygen – persists. Demand is on the rise across states and the challenge will be to ensure that Gujarat gets adequate stock,” said Kiran Patel, a city-based manufacturer.

“Given the current scenario, it will be a challenge to ensure that the raw material or finished product doesn’t go out as the forces of the market are at play. Maharashtra is a major supplier of the gas,” Prakash Patel, a supplier and manufacturer of oxygen said, while also adding that the major players should provide raw material to smaller manufacturers in these times.

Those in the knowhow have revealed that the price of oxygen has also remained high (at Rs 35) over the past few days which also remains a challenge. – Times Now News