Nagpur: The uncontrollable spiral in Covid cases in Second Capital prompted the District Collector Ravindra Thakare to order use of all oxygen for medical use only. Stared with oxygen supply crisis in the district, the Collector directed the region’s only liquid oxygen manufacturer, Inox Air Production Private Limited at MIDC (Butibori), to reserve its entire production for medical oxygen exclusively.
Earlier, the liquid oxygen production was regulated in the ratio of 80% for medical and 20% for commercial use by the Collector during the crisis. But, in view of the soaring oxygen requirements, the latest decision was taken by the District Collector following a review meeting under the District Guardian Minister Nitin Raut. The Minister had also taken up the matter of substantial oxygen requirements in the district with the government to ensure the supply chain from Bhilai in Chhattisgarh, and Gujarat remains viable.
The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), which is now working in collaboration with the Collector Office and also part of the central control room, has started monitoring production, procurement and distribution of liquid oxygen at the manufacturing, refilling, air separation units. It is also keeping track of usage at private hospitals along with stock of Remdesivir and other drugs.
Thakare said the decision to use 100% production of liquid oxygen for medical purpose was for the larger interest of the people and growing numbers of Covid patients whose life depends on timely and adequate oxygen supply. “We had explored various options before coming to the conclusion that we will have to shift solely medical oxygen as of now in view of the staggering requirement,” said the Collector. He said the order would be reviewed from time to time. “We are also facing shortage of tankers to bring liquid oxygen from other sources,” said Thakare.
In Nagpur, the only liquid oxygen manufacturing plant (Inox) produces 95 metric tonnes. Another two air separation units produce around 50 metric tonnes of medical oxygen. Inox and the two air separation units supply four re-fillers or refilling plants, from where city hospitals get around 160 metric tonnes of oxygen everyday. As per FDA data, around 90 metric tonnes of oxygen was in stock as on April 3.