The Kerala Chief Minister wrote to Prime Minister Modi seeking an urgent supply of liquid medical oxygen to the state on Wednesday, May 5. Chief Minister Pinarayi has written that the state’s projected medical oxygen demand has increased considerably.
“..the buffer storage within the state needs to be augmented urgently, keeping in view the depletion of storage due to heavy daily demand,” the letter read.
The Chief Minister added that Kerala required at least 1000 metric tonnes of imported liquid medical oxygen. This, the Chief Minister’s letter added, could be done if the Ministry of External Affairs allocated part of the required medical oxygen quantity from the current tranche of imports and the rest from future oxygen imports.
“Allocation of 500 MT of liquid medical oxygen from the nearest steel plant to the state may also be advised,” the letter added.
Pinarayi also requested the Union government to allocate Pressure Swing Adsorption oxygen plants, oxygen concentrators, cryogenic tankers to carry liquid medical oxygen, and ventilators to Kerala on a priority basis. This, considering the fact that the state has one of the highest active case loads in India currently, the letter says.
Like many other states, Kerala too is facing a shortage of vaccines. The letter asked the Union government to “take into account the number of persons awaiting second dose vaccination and also the number of persons registered for the first dose while determining further allotment of vaccines to various states.”
The letter also asked the Union government to allot 50 lakh doses of Covishield and 25 lakh doses of Covaxin to Kerala.
With a vaccine shortage faced by many states, Kerala too had to cut down on the number of vaccination centres, limit the number of doses per day and prioritise people due for their second dose in the state.
The state had also attempted to directly purchase vaccines from the manufacturers. However, it did not succeed as both the Serum Institute of India (SII) which makes Covishield and Bharat Biotech which developed Covaxin have said that they will not be making commitments to states until they deliver the required quantity of vaccines they have promised to the Centre.
The Chief Minister also took to Twitter to state that Kerala had received 73,38, 806 doses of vaccine from the Government of India.
“We have provided 74,26,164 doses, even making use of the extra dose available as wastage factor in each vial,” the tweet read.