In view of the sudden demand of medical oxygen, the Oxygen Management Group appointed by Rajasthan Government has added 17 more tankers and 32,000 cylinders to bridge the gap. The state government while has urged the Central Government to increase allocation of oxygen supply to the state, the contemporary demand is being met with diversion of industrial use oxygen and getting industries to increase production of oxygen. The demand for medical use oxygen in the state has increased by double as the second wave of COVID sweeps through the country, the state government has constituted a Oxygen Management Group under the leadership of a senior IAS officer to ensure due availability of the essential supply.
Oxygen when medicinally observed helps in rapid recovery of COVID patients, and its demand has been increasing with number of institutionalised patients in the state. The state chief minister Shri Ashok Gehlot has also been directly monitoring the oxygen supply scenario along with the management of COVID situation. The government has also established 24 hours control rooms at State level as well as district levels to ensure efficient management of oxygen. Rajasthan has been able to avoid scarcity of oxygen to healthcare services helping them to effectively control the mortality rate and recovery period.
The medical oxygen consumption of Rajasthan has increased from 160 metric tonnes in previous week to more than 250 metric tonnes in current week. Officials are targeting to raise the availability to compensate any further rise in demand.
Amid reports of scarcity of Oxygen from several states, Rajasthan Government is also working to increase production of medical oxygen. Discussions are being held with Hindustan Zinc for providing oxygen from its two location i.e. Dariba and Chanderiya plants in the state. Other industries groups are also being approached to help in production of oxygen. The state government has also authorised district collectors to purchase oxygen constructors that can be used to support non-critical patients.
Over the past week, number of oxygen supply tankers deployed in medical services has been increased from 6 to 23. Use of GPS and police escort is being made to ensure smooth and fast transportation of oxygen through tankers. More than 32000 cylinders previously being used in supply of industrial oxygen have also been acquired and being handed over to district administration after due treatment for medical services. Rajasthan government meanwhile has also written to the central government regarding disproportionally less allocation of oxygen to the state in regards to number of positive cases.
Looking to shortage and time consuming in transportation by road, the service of Air Force are being taken to supply oxygen tankers from Reliance Refinery Jamnagar to Jodhpur. C-17 Globe Master, which is largest air cargo of Air Force will reach by 8.30 AM at Jodhpur Airport and fly after taking 2 oxygen empty tankers from Jodhpur. After filling these tankers from Reliance Refinery Jamnagar, it will again reach by 4 PM on same day at Jodhpur. This will result to save more time and save thousands lives those are dependent on oxygen in the State.