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Gujarat FDCA witnesses decline in medical oxygen consumption from average rate of 200 MT to 160 MT per day

Shardul Nautiyal, Mumbai
Saturday, October 24, 2020, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

In line with India’s COVID-19 recovery rate of 88.81%, the Gujarat Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA) has also witnessed a decline in consumption of medical oxygen from the average rate of 200 metric tonnes (MT) per day to 160 MT per day signifying improved recovery of COVID-19 patients in the state.  

This comes close on the heels of the state drug regulator issuing licenses to 10 more oxygen manufacturers recently taking the total count to 57 medical oxygen manufacturers in the state.

With the issuing of new licenses, the state is producing four times its daily consumption which is 800 MT daily. The state has availability of over 5.2 lakh cubic metres oxygen against the requirement of 62,860 cubic metres oxygen as per the data shared by official sources.

The Union health ministry has also directed all the states to ensure adequate and uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen for managing moderate and severe cases of COVID-19.States and UTs were also urged to ensure free inter-state movement of oxygen supplies based on complaints of shortage, hoarding and black marketing of medical oxygen across the country. All healthcare institutions in the state of Gujarat have been directed to comply with Essential Commodities (EC) Act and provide medical oxygen free of cost.

In the last 24 hours, more than 61,000 COVID-19 patients have recovered. The Union health ministry said, the total number of recoveries has reached over 67.95 lakh. During the same period, 54,044 cases were reported.

The constantly increasing recoveries ensured that the actual caseload is considerably reduced and currently comprises only 9.67 per cent of the total positive cases.

Presently, the total number of active cases in the country is seven lakh 40 thousand with total number of positive cases at over 76 lakh. Currently, India’s case fatality rate is at 1.51 per cent, which is one of the lowest globally. In the 24 hour time, 717 deaths were reported in the country taking the toll to one lakh 15 thousand.

According to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), more than ten lakh 83 thousand tests were conducted during the last 24 hours. The total number of samples tested so far has reached nine crore 72 lakh.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had earlier directed state licensing authorities (SLAs) to urgently grant permission to manufacturers of industrial oxygen to manufacture medical oxygen in the light of COVID-19 outbreak.

An undertaking needs to be furnished in writing to manufacture medical oxygen in compliance with standards prescribed in Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP) and labeling requirements as per the Drugs and Cosmetics (D&C) Act and Rules.

Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan recently stated that there is no shortage of oxygen supply at the national level and states need to monitor oxygen inventory mechanisms of hospitals so that replenishment can be done in a timely manner.

The country’s current daily capacity of oxygen production as on date is more than 6,900 MT and around 2,800 MT of oxygen are required for COVID-19 and non-COVID health use.

The health ministry had held detailed meetings with states, in which it was advised to start a control room for monitoring oxygen supply and requirements on a daily basis. It was brought to the notice of the union health ministry that few States are trying to curb the free inter-state movement of oxygen supplies by exercising provisions under various Acts and also mandating the manufacturers and suppliers located in the State to restrict their oxygen supplies to only the hospitals of the state.


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