Govt allows more cos to make medical oxygen

In order to ease the woes of people with severe symptoms of Covid-19, the government has allowed manufacturers of industrial oxygen to produce the gas for medical use too. This comes against the backdrop of an advisory by the World Health Organisation to all countries to work towards optimising the availability of pulse oximeters and medical oxygen systems.

Albeit there is enough stock (about 80,000 tonnes) of medical oxygen in the country right now, the government has simplified the process of getting a licence to manufacture medical-grade oxygen, if the need arises. Currently the cuonsumption of medical oxygen is about 700 tonnes a day.

Industrial gas manufacturers will be given licence to produce medical-grade oxygen within 24 hours of application, if they undertake to produce it as per the prescribed standards.

“There is ample oxygen in stock. The demand has declined from pre-Covid days by almost 20-25% because hospitals have deferred elective surgeries for later. Due to the lockdown, supply to industry has been disrupted. This gas can be easily converted into medicalgrade oxygen and supplied to hospitals now,” Saket Tiku, president of All India Industrial Gases Manufacturers Association (AIIGMA), told reporters.

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