As the country anticipates escalation in the positive coronavirus cases with total number of confirmed coronavirus cases crossing 21,000 on Thursday, the Indian government has been constantly making efforts to ensure the adequate supplies of essential commodities required during the treatment. One such effort is the grant of permission to the industrial oxygen manufacturers to manufacture and sell the gas for medical use. Medical oxygen is mandatory for maintaining appropriate level of the gas in the patient’s blood and becomes a crucial part of the medical procedure when the patient is on ventilator.

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The move happened after All India Industrial Gases Manufacturer’s Association’s (AIIGMA) proposal which was aimed at ensuring the adequate availability of oxygen for medical use at this time of crisis. AIIGMA, has all the industrial and medicinal gas manufacturers as its members and is engaged in production of gas cylinders, cryogenic vessels, gas plants, and other allied equipment.

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The Directorate General of Health Services ( govt. of India) showed his consent towards the move and stated that the industrial gas manufacturers will be provided appropriate license to produce medical-grade oxygen within 24 hours of application, provided they produce it as per the prescribed standards in Indian pharmacopoeia.

Experts believe that the grant could prove to be a breakthrough in country’s bid against fighting the spread of virus and encourage other countries to follow the suit who may be running short of the lifesaving gas because of tremendous rise in Covid-19 patients.

Facts and Figures

 Oxygen is India’s largest revenue generating industrial gas In India, however, most of that revenue is generated from the sale oxygen to the steel and metallurgy sector. The AIIGMA stated that around 80% of the total oxygen output is sold to serve other industries that use oxygen while 20% goes for medical use.
 As per the president of AIIGMA, India has around 80,000 tonnes of total oxygen in stock, while medical oxygen consumption stands at about 700 tonnes per day. However, the government and industry are getting prepared for all sorts of complications.
 Industrial air separation plants normally operate at around 75-85% operating efficiency which is a fair rate when it comes to maintaining country’s supply and demand. Association believes that to meet the increased demand at the time of crisis, the associated companies can ramp up their production without planning for any new plant construction.

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Source: ChemAnalyst