Railways to transport medical oxygen cylinders to Maharashtra

Maharastra is currently facing a shortage in oxygen supply for the COVID-19 patients. Maha CM Uddhav Thackeray wrote a letter to PM Modi, asking for the Centre's help to meet the oxygen supply. On Saturday, the Indian Railways allowed the transportation of liquid medical oxygen.

The demand for medical oxygen has risen almost four times, from 750 tonnes a day in March, before the lockdown, to about 2,800 tonnes a day. Source- Live Mint

Current Covid Scenario in Maharashtra; medical oxygen demand increases

Maharashtra has recorded 67,123 fresh COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours. Mumbai, Pune, Thane have almost reached their peaks as per experts.

The State is currently facing a shortage of oxygen cylinders amid the rising cases. Many patients require oxygen but the state is unable to supply enough cylinders.

The consumption of Medical Oxygen in Maharashtra has reached the state's full capacity. The production capacity of the state is 1,250 tonnes. The capacity has already reached its saturation point.

Railway Ministry's move to transport Oxygen Cylinders to Maharashtra

The draft preparation for the transportation of medical-grade oxygen cylinders is complete. The Railway Ministry has allowed the transportation of oxygen on a Roll-on-Roll-off scheme. They have allowed the movement of oxygen to different destinations across the states.

Two staff members will go with liquid oxygen trucks. The journey cost will be equal to a second-class ticket. The oxygen trucks will be loaded onto the Ro-Ro service.

A circular from the Rail Ministry said, " The matter has been examined. The authority has allowed the transport of liquid medical oxygen in cryogenic containers."

The Railways will also charge for the empty flow direction of the containers.

As a measure to save medical oxygen, Dr. Sanjay Oak has suggested the postponement of non-essential surgeries. This suggestion will depend on factors like the patient's conditions.

Several states are currently facing a shortage in oxygen supply. The Government has asked the states to ensure an uninterrupted supply of oxygen. They asked the states to not stop the oxygen-carrying vehicles across state borders.

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