Coronavirus update: COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra cross 1-million mark; hospitals face oxygen shortage

By: |
September 12, 2020 12:56 PM

After six months, the state has become the first one in India to have surpassed COVID-19 cases beyond the 1-million mark.

Maharashtra is facing a shortage of oxygen for COVID-19 patients.

Coronavirus cases in Maharashtra have been surging ever since the pandemic broke out in the country. After six months, the state has become the first one in India to have surpassed COVID-19 cases beyond the 1-million mark. As many as 1,015,681 cases have been confirmed in the state, according to the data provided by the health ministry. Among these, 271,934 cases are still active in the state. It is to note that more than 100,000 cases have been added in the state in the past six days. On Friday, the state witnessed a surge of 24,886 cases. While the cases have increased significantly, Maharashtra is facing a shortage of oxygen for COVID-19 patients, The Indian Express reported.

According to the report, the state has been adding around 2,000- 3,000 patients everyday who need oxygen supports. The patients with critical conditions require 40 to 60 litre a minute. The scenario is such that in order to save patients, frantic calls are being made to dealers for oxygen supply. Since oxygen generation or oxygen conversion plants are located in Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur, and Kolhapur belt, other regions of the state are facing difficulties in procuring supplies for oxygen.

Health Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas said that the geographical mismatch has caused some issues in some parts of Maharashtra, but the issues are being looked into and the government is taking steps to resolve it. Just three days ago, the state government issued a notice to oxygen suppliers asking them not to see more than 20 per cent of their cylinders outside the state. This is expected to stabilise the state’s own oxygen requirement which, according to the report, has been affected by Madhya Pradesh as it largely depends on Maharashtra as well as Gujarat for oxygen supply.

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh’s Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan has reached out to Uddhav Thackeray asking for a resumption of oxygen supplies. The Union Health Ministry has also rolled out directives to all states and Union Territories (UTs) stating that states should ensure that no restriction is imposed on medical oxygen movement between them. It added that all state governments have to make sure that every patient who is hospitalised for novel Coronavirus is getting oxygen.

The report highlighted that as Maharashtra needs 1,200 metric tonne of medical oxygen daily, the state government has asked suppliers to deliver oxygen first to the government hospitals, then private COVID-19 hospitals followed by non-COVID hospitals. It is to note that supply to industrial units result in penalisation of fines up to Rs 30,000.

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