Medical oxygen consumption has more than doubled in Andhra Pradesh and keeping in mind the need for supporting COVID-19 patients at hospitals and COVID Care Centres, the Union government has sent 4,500 oxygen cylinders to overcome the gap in turnaround time of a full cylinder.
In the first phase when the outbreak was not rampant, 2,000 cylinders were allocated, but after the lifting of nationwide lockdown, the number of cases started increasing exponentially and recently another 2,500 cylinders have been sent. Anantapur district proportionately got 410 cylinders so far for use by various hospitals. “These cylinders are of 7 Cu.Mts. capacity and meet the entire needs of the district,” Nodal Officer and Assistant Director of Drug Control Authority Pullagarula Ramesh Reddy told The Hindu.
The district currently with close to 2,000 COVID-19 beds (hospitals and care centres), has sufficient supplies. To augment the availability of oxygen-supporting beds, the administration has got a 13 KL liquid oxygen tank installed on the GGH premises, another 10 KL tank in the new ‘Super-speciality block’ and a 5 KL tank in the Cancer Care Centre in the adjoining compound.
Another 50 cylinders have been allocated for the Super-speciality block of the GGH, which is likely to start functioning in another 10 days, said Mr. Ramesh Reddy. Currently, 10 COVID patients with mild symptoms were being housed in the building that was getting final touches. “Once the ‘Third Party’ certification for the entire oxygen network and other facilities is over, these blocks will be commissioned,” he said.
Tie-up with VSP
Director General, Drugs and Copyright, S. Ravi Shankar has meanwhile struck an arrangement with the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant to supply sufficient oxygen from its plant. Director M.B.R. Prasad monitors the supplies to various districts.
To augment the oxygen-supporting beds at area hospitals too, 1 KL liquid oxygen cylinders were recently installed at Hindupur, Kadiri and Guntakal in the district. Two distributors are supplying 460 cylinders/day to all government and private hospitals with the GGH Anantapur alone consuming close to 250 cylinders a day.