The Maharashtra government has urged the Centre to retain the supply of medical oxygen as well as Remdesivir injections to the state in order to meet their increasing demand for treatment of hospitalised patients. The state’s request comes after its quota of medical oxygen as well as Remdesivir was reduced after the union government took charge of their supplies.
“The Maharashtra government had managed to arrange 250 metric tonnes of medical oxygen from Jamnagar-based Reliance company plant in Gujarat. However, it has been informed by the company that the supply has now been cut down to 125MT of medical oxygen per day for the state,” said Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.
Pawar said this has happened after the Centre took control of the medical oxygen supply of the entire country to meet the demand of various states in the country.
“The chief secretary of the state has been asked to contact the union government officials and get the quota of the medical oxygen supply increased for the state,” Pawar said, adding the state would urge the union government to retain the 250MT of medical oxygen supply for the state from Jamnagar.
The deputy chief minister said it has been decided to start 30 oxygen generation plant in the hospitals in the district with 10 to be set up through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), 10 through District Planning Committee, 6 by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and 4 by Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC).
Also, the state government is working on starting plants that were shut in industries across the state as well as exploring oxygen generation in sugar factories, he said.
Meanwhile, the union government has accepted the request of the state government to airlift empty tankers but the refilled tankers would either be brought by road or rail service, Pawar said.
On the shortage of Remdesivir, the deputy chief minister said the state was getting 36,000 injections per day which have now been reduced to 25,000 per day. “The manufacturing companies were ready to supply the Remdesivir as per the demand of the state government but the union government has taken control over the management of supply of Remdesivir injection,” he said, adding the union government has been requested to increase the stock for the state.
Pawar said the requirement of Remdesivir or Covid vaccine can be met only after the union government allows its import in the country. “It is a demand-supply issue. Even if production is done with full capacity there would be limitations to meet the demand considering the population of the country.”
On the vaccination, the deputy chief minister said the state government is prepared to purchase vaccines from outside countries if the union government allows it. “The state government has planned global tender for vaccines. We had spoken to Serum Institute to supply the vaccine as per demand but they have communicated that it was not possible for them to meet the state demand and would provide as much of it as possible while urging to buy remaining from other companies.”
The deputy chief minister said that the state government’s stand on its plan on administering the Covid-19 vaccine to eligible citizens would be declared by the chief minister on May 1. “The decision on whether to make it free for all will be declared by the chief minister. However, if need be we will appeal to the citizens who can afford to pay for it while the state government would make arrangements for the poor class,” Pawar said.