‘Over 9 lakh COVID patients on oxygen support, over a lakh on ventilator’

Health Minister Harsh Vadhan tells Group of Ministers that 1.34% of COVID caseload is in ICU

Top officials have said the production of Liquid Medical Oxygen has been maximized to meet the present demand of COVID patients. PTI File Photo

As many as 1,70,841 COVID patients across the country are on ventilator and 9,02,291 patients are on oxygen support, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday (May 8). In his virtual address at the 25th meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) to discuss the pandemic situation, the minister said that 1.34 per cent of the COVID caseload was in ICU, 0.39 per cent of cases were on ventilators and 3.70 per cent COVID patients were on oxygen support.

On Friday (May 7), the country’s active caseload stood at 37,23,446. With 4,187 deaths, the toll has gone up to 2.38 lakh.

He said that across the country, the number of patients in ICU beds is 4,88,861 while 1,70,841 patients were on ventilators and 9,02,291 patients were on oxygen support.

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The meeting was attended by Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar, Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep S Puri, Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Chemical and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya and Minister of State, Home Affairs Nityanand Rai.

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Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State, Health and Family Welfare, and Dr Vinod K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog were present virtually.

Paul gave a detailed report on the work of the Empowered Group-1 and highlighted the various efforts made towards ramping up hospital infrastructure for effective clinical management of hospitalized patients.

Giridhar Aramane, Secretary, Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways (Chair, EG-2) presented the current scenario of liquid medical oxygen production, allocation and supply.

Aramane said the production of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) has been maximized to meet the present demand of COVID patients.

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The domestic production has increased to more than 9400 MT/day, the Health Ministry quoted him, adding that he also enumerated steps to import LMO, the status of establishment of PSA oxygen plants through the support of PMCARES fund with the support of DRDO and CSIR, enhancement of tanker availability, the functioning of the web portal and mobile application for Real-Time Tracking of LMO Tankers.

The meeting came a day after the Supreme Court told the Centre to ensure 700 tons of medical oxygen for Delhi every day.

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