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Use oxygen judiciously: Maharashtra government tells hospitals treating COVID-19 patients


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MUMBAI: After central government's warning over the excessive use of oxygen which is three times more than national average in Maharashtra, the state government asked civic authorities, hospitals and district collectors to ensure there is judicial use of oxygen while catering to COVID-19 patients.

Dr Pradeep Vyas, principal secretary of Maharashtra health department asked various concern authority for rationing of the oxygen. In his letter, Mr Vyas said that Maharashtra is consuming the largest quantity of oxygen for COVID-19 patients in India.

“The 5 to 6 per cent active Covid 19 positive patients have given the oxygen in India while in Maharashtra, 10 per cent to 15 per cent. That is three times more than the national average. In this rate, of we continue to use then very soon we will exhaust our oxygen supplying resources,” Dr Vyas said.

He pointed out that there is a mismatch in the consumption of oxygen in Mumbai and other part of the state. 

“In rest of Maharashtra, more quantity of oxygen has been used that need to be monitored. The concerned authority should take a review of patients and total use of oxygen. The proper audit should be conducted by fixing the patient and use of oxygen. The private hospitals are using more oxygen and keeping the patients more than the required time for the commercial purpose. The local authority scrupulously should monitor,” said health secretary.

He further said that private hospitals are giving treatment and even admitting the patients after doing rapid antigen tests that are not considered officially as per ICMR guidelines. 

“The proper Covid 19 test should be carried, then only treatment and admission should be done. Besides the local Tahsildar – revenue officer should monitor the oxygen refilling 65 centres. They should check the entry and dispatch of vehicles that carrying an oxygen cylinder. They should ensure that there is no pilferage and misuse of oxygen. The proper audit should be done. If they are not following the order, then action should be taken,” Dr Vyas.

In Maharashtra, Pune is consuming the largest quantity – 235 metric tonne of oxygen out of a total consumption of 953 metric tonne of oxygen across the state.

According to Maharashtra government oxygen demand and supply report, presently the demand for oxygen in 1,072 COVID-19 hospitals of Maharashtra is 953.21 metric tonne against the 953.470 metric tonne supply, while there is 458 metric tonne oxygen, has remained as a balanced stock in various hospitals.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)