Centre asks states to ensure availability of oxygen, functional life support equipment at hospitals

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A medic at Thane Municipal Corporation's Covid Center checks equippment as part of preparedness in the wake of surge in COVID cases in some countriues, in Thane. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: With some countries witnessing a surge in Covid cases, the Centre on Saturday urged states and union territories to ensure the availability of Liquid Medical Oxygen, adequate inventory of cylinders and functional life support equipment such as ventilators at hospitals to face any challenge.

The health ministry asked them to ensure Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen generating plants are kept fully functional and regular mock drills are conducted to check them.

In a letter to all states and UTs, Health Ministry Additional Secretary Manohar Agnani said the operationalisation and maintenance of these medical infrastructure is of utmost importance to meet any eventuality even though the number of cases in the country is low now.

He said medical oxygen is an important resource in all clinical settings, particularly during pandemic and reliable oxygen supply is critical for saving lives.

In the letter, the official requested additional chief secretary/principal secretary, secretary (Health) of all states and UTs to direct departments concerned to ensure that PSA plants are kept fully functional and regular mock drills are conducted to check them.

"The availability of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) in the health facilities and uninterrupted supply chain for their refilling should be ensured. Adequate Inventory of Oxygen Cylinders along with backup stocks and robust refilling system is maintained," the letter said.

States have also been urged to ensure the availability of functional life support equipment such as ventilators, BiPAP and SpO2 systems along with their consumables.

Oxygen control rooms should be reinvigorated at states and UTs level for prompt resolutions of oxygen-related issues and challenges, the letter said.

"On-boarding of all healthcare facilities utilizing oxygen to ODAS platform for daily oxygen demand and consumption be monitored for implementation," the letter stated.

During the COVID pandemic, the Centre supported States/UTs by installing and commissioning PSA plants, oxygen concentrators, cylinders, and other oxygen-related infrastructure to ensure availability of medical oxygen at a cost effective and reliable manner in public health facilities across the country, the letter said.

The support for ventilators was also extended by Gol to ensure better patient management, it added. PTI

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