India is witnessing record high of 2,95,041 new Covid cases and 2,023 deaths. In this time, the oxygen crisis appeared to intensify with complaints of shortage from several states, including Maharashtra where tragedy taken place when 24 patients on ventilator support suffocated to death due to leakage in an oxygen storage tank.
Amid continued reports of acute oxygen shortage in many parts of the country the Centre on Wednesday marginally increased state quotas of 8 states, reporting the highest surge in Covid-19 cases.
The states where the supply has been raised include Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, apart from the national capital where the hospitals have been sending out SOSs due to interrupted supply lines since Monday.
Delhi, which gets 378 MT of medical oxygen supply every day will now get 480 MT while Madhya Pradesh will get the maximum raise of 98 MT per day, taking it to 543 MT from the current supply of 543 MT. Maharashtra, which is reporting over 60,000 Covid-19 cases every day, will now get 1661 MT of oxygen, 15 units higher than the current supply of 1646 MT oxygen per day.
Union health secretary said in a press briefing that out of nearly 7,500 MT oxygen being produced in the country, 6600 MT or 88 % had been used in the hospitals on Wednesday.
Apart from that experts stressed that healthy individuals with oxygen saturation in the range 93-94% do not need to take high flow oxygen just to maintain their saturation at 98-99% and even those with oxygen saturation of less than 94 % need close monitoring while oxygen is optional. Experts have also pointed out that the country has enough oxygen if used “judiciously” and said it should not be used “security blanket” as its wastage will only lead to depriving someone who needs it.