Oxygen consumption on the rise
GUWAHATI: State Health Minister Keshab Mahanta has said that the daily consumption of oxygen in the State is 80 MT against the daily production of 70 MT, and the shortfall is met through the purchase of 30-45 MT from other sources as permitted by the Centre.
Till ten days back Assam was oxygen surplus with the daily production of 70 MT against the daily consumption of 40 MT. With the rise in active COVID-19 cases in the State, it has become an oxygen deficit State.
However, talking to the media on Friday, State Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said, "We've 13 oxygen-producing plants in medical colleges and hospitals the State. We've also signed MoUs (Memorandums of Understanding) with some private oxygen plants. With all these, we don't run the risk of an immediate oxygen crisis. Rather, we provide 8-12 MTs of oxygen to Meghalaya, 8 MT to Manipur and 0.50 MT to Arunachal Pradesh."
On the vaccination front, the Minister said, "We hope the scarcity of vaccines will ease from June this year. We've made advanced payments to some companies. We also hope that from June the private hospitals will be able to vaccinate people through direct purchase from the manufacturers.
"Now our thrust is on the detection of the maximum number of COVID-19 positive cases, besides speeding up the vaccination drive.
"In the second wave of COVID-19 since April 21, 1.36 lakh active COVID cases have been detected in the State, and 82,500 of them have been recovered. In the past few days, the COVID positivity rate has been on the decline in the State.
"We've 13,863 beds for COVID patients – 11,152 isolation beds, 1,922 oxygen beds and 787 ICU beds in the State. We're going to add 3,000 more beds in Guwahati."
Reacting to the allegation that some private hospitals have been charging high from COVID patients in the State, the Minister said, "We're going to hold a meeting with the representatives of the private hospitals soon. We'll discuss this matter at the meeting."