Fertilizer firms to supply 50 tonnes oxygen daily to patients
(Sourced from PTI)
The Centre on Wednesday said fertilizer companies like IFFCO are expected to supply 50 tonnes of medical oxygen per day to hospitals for treatment of COVID-19 patients. IFFCO, Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals (GSFC), Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers and Chemicals (GNFC), and other fertilizer companies are augmenting the oxygen supply, it said in a statement.
The government, however, didn't give any timeline by when the oxygen supply will be made available by these fertilizer plants. Minister of State for Fertilizers and Chemicals Mansukh Mandaviya in a meeting discussed the possibility of augmenting oxygen production with public and private fertilizer companies.
"Altogether it is expected that approximately 50 tonnes of medical oxygen per day can be made available for the COVID-19 infected patients by the fertilizer plants," the ministry said in a statement. "These steps will also augment the medical grade oxygen supply to the hospitals in the country in the coming days," it further added.
According to the ministry, fertilizer cooperative, IFFCO is putting up an oxygen plant with 200 cubic meters per hour capacity in Gujarat's Kalol unit and total capacity would be 33,000 cubic meters daily. GSFC has made small modifications in their plants and started supplying liquid oxygen, while GNFC has also started supply of liquid oxygen for medical purposes after starting the air separation unit.
"Both GSFS and GNFC have already started the process to enhance their oxygen production capacities," the ministry said. "The other fertilizer companies will set up medical plants in hospitals/plants at selected locations in the country through corporate social responsibility (CSR) funding," it added.
In the meeting, the minister called upon the fertilizer companies to help the society during the pandemic time by reorienting their existing capacity of oxygen production and augmenting the supply of medical-grade oxygen to the hospitals. "The fertilizer companies have readily shown interest to join the efforts of the government to fight the COVID-19 situation in the country," the ministry added.
The move comes amid a crippling shortage of medical oxygen in several parts of the country in the wake of a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in the second wave of the pandemic. Meanwhile, India saw a record single-day rise of 3,60,960 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, which pushed the total tally to 1,79,97,267, while the death toll crossed two lakh following 3,293 fresh fatalities.