The Health Ministry hold a virtual meeting yesterday where Union Health Secretary, Secretary DPIIT and Secretary Pharmaceuticals engaged with 29 States and UTs to ensure adequate Oxygen availability in all healthcare facilities.

It was noted that 11 tankers in Assam supply Oxygen to most of the North-Eastern States. States were asked to assess the need and then to press more tankers into action, repurpose similar vehicles for carrying oxygen, and take steps to reduce their turnaround time.

The States were specifically advised to ensure facility wise and hospital wise oxygen inventory management and advance planning for timely replenishment. They were also asked to ensure that no restriction is imposed on the movement of Medical Oxygen between States and UTs.

Provision of “Green Corridor” for Liquid Medical Oxygen Tankers within the cities should be made. Real Time monitoring of cryogenic tankers used to supply oxygen must be done. States were also asked to ensure timely payment of the due bills to the manufacturers and suppliers to maintain uninterrupted supply of oxygen.

States have been advised to improve hospital storage capacity and identify MSME units whose storage capacity can be used to store Oxygen. They have been asked to undertake Oxygen Consumption Audit, ensure only cases requiring medical oxygenation are administered with Oxygen and prevent leakages due to negligence of hospital staff.

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