Karnataka to receive liquid medical oxygen from Arab countries to counter shortage

The state is staring at a shortage of liquid medical oxygen as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
Oxygen tanker
Oxygen tanker
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Karnataka will receive 80 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen from Arab countries, tweeted State Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar. The state on Wednesday held a meeting at the Vidhana Soudha with senior officials of different departments to discuss 'oxygen supply and distribution'.

The state has also instructed the JSW plant’s management to stop the production of iron and steel and increase production of liquid medical oxygen, the minister’s tweet explained. 

The state is currently reeling under an oxygen crisis. On Tuesday, May 4, Karnataka saw 24 patients in the Chamarajanagar Institute of Medical Sciences (CIMS) die due to low oxygen supply. Three other hospitals also alerted the government that they were running out of oxygen supply on the same day.

Without amping up oxygen supply, the crisis in Karnataka is likely to worsen.

“The medical oxygen allotted earlier to us was 300 tonnes per day, it was increased to 865 tonnes. But we will need 1792 tonnes per day, and we have informed the Union government,” Karnataka Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar told TNM.

The state has also informed the Union government about their need for more oxygen.

The Union Government, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, also allocated ISO containers (shipping containers) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)  converted tankers for liquid medical oxygen suppliers to transport to hospitals.

The state has been given four such containers of 20 metric tonne each, which can be used post May 5. The containers are offered by Indian Oil Corporation Bahrain, and IOCL. The public sector undertaking will manage the inland movement of these containers in Karnataka.

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