With rising patient count, Telangana may face Oxygen shortage: Health Minister

The Health Minister felt the centre should reallocate oxygen from steel plants to states.
Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender addressing a press conference
Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender addressing a press conference
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The good news is that Telangana has no shortage of Oxygen at present. That said, the matter of concern is that if the number of patients continues to soar, the state is likely to face a shortage of oxygen. Addressing the media on Wednesday, Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender confirmed the same and also asked hospitals to judiciously use oxygen.

Throwing some light on the oxygen supply process, the minister said, “Additional oxygen supply is not something done at state level. It needs to come from across the country, wherever there are steel factories. It’s allocated to the states (by Centre). Certain quantities have been allocated but they need to come from distant locations. Visakha steel plant, the Bellary steel factory are closer. The allocations (for Telangana) are lesser from these factories. We have got allocations all the wayfrom Roorkee and Odisha, which is around 3,000 km back and forth. Because of this, for one tanker to come, it’s taking around7-8 days.”

The health minister has brought up this concern in a conversation with the Union Health Minister on Wednesday. “I spoke to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan yesterday and asked to allocate oxygen from more nearby plants. We’re not sure if there will be a timely response”, noted Rajender.

The Minister also felt that Hyderabad has been receiving patients from not just across Telangana but also from Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Chattisgarh. He felt the onus of ensuring oxygen supply is also on the Union government.

“So far the state government has been able to ensure there’s no shortage of oxygen in the state, but as the number of patients increases, it’s possible that problems may arise”, said the health minister.

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