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Severe Impact: Maha Health Min Claims Centre Reduced Oxygen Supply

The incident comes amid reports of a crippling shortage of oxygen in many states and hospitals of India.

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Maharashtra is currently consuming 1,750 MT of medical oxygen, Image used for presentational use.
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Health Minister Rajesh Tope, on Thursday, 6 May criticised the centre’s move to reduce medical oxygen supply to Maharashtra for having a detrimental impact on COVID treatment.

The Centre reduced oxygen supply from Karnataka to Maharashtra by 50 MT on 6 May, alleged Tope. He also said that this issue must be raised with the Union Health Minister.

Maharashtra has witnessed a surge in COVID cases, bringing it among states with most number of active cases.

As per PTI, Tope said that Maharashtra is currently consuming 1,750 MT of medical oxygen.

“It will have severe impact on the ongoing treatment of Covid-19 patients in Maharashtra. It is necessary to raise the issue with the Union health ministry and other officials concerned”
Rajesh Tope

The Maharashtra government is in the process of setting up Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) medical oxygen plants to combat the dire shortage experienced across the state. As per PTI, the state has ordered 150 PSA plants.

Tope, reportedly, noted that potential shortage due to the reduced supply would be a problem since oxygen is a critical tool for COVID positive patients, at least till the PSA units start functioning.

Background

This move comes after at least 24 COVID-19 patients died reportedly due to low oxygen supply after an oxygen tanker leaked on Wednesday, 21 April, outside Dr Zakir Hussain Hospital in Nashik, Maharashtra.

The incident caused the oxygen supply to be disrupted for 30 minutes.

Police on 22 April registered an FIR against unnamed persons in connection with the incident.

All those who died in the incident were reportedly COVID-19 patients on ventilators and required a constant supply of oxygen. The hospital was housing approximately 170 patients.

The Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to be provided to kin of the deceased. A high-level inquiry has been ordered to probe the incident.

The incident comes amid reports of a crippling shortage of oxygen in many states and hospitals of India.

(With inputs from PTI)

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