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COVID-19: Union Health Secretary Urges States, UTs To Ensure That No Restriction Is Imposed On Movement Of Medical Oxygen Between States

Medical oxygen constitutes an essential public health commodity and any impediment in its supply may critically impact the management of patients suffering from COVID-19 disease, says the central government

COVID-19: Union Health Secretary Urges States, UTs To Ensure That No Restriction Is Imposed On Movement Of Medical Oxygen Between States
  • Adequate oxygen supply can enable effective care for COVID patients: Centre
  • Providing quality care to patients is critical in fighting COVID-19: Centre
  • Less than 3.7% of active patients are on oxygen support in India: Centre

New Delhi: Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has urged the States and Union Territories (UTs) to ensure that no restriction is imposed on the movement of medical oxygen from one State to another. It may be noted that oxygen support is one of the key clinical management in the treatment of COVID-19 patients across India. According to the Union Health Ministry, so far, less than 3.7 per cent of active patients are on oxygen support in the country.

Also Read: Cumulative 6.4 Million Adult COVID-19 Infections Were Estimated In India By Early May: ICMR Sero-survey

Mr. Bhushan’s decision come when the Health Ministry got to know that a few States are trying to curb the free inter-State movement of oxygen supply by exercising provisions under various Acts and also mandating the manufacturers and suppliers located in the State to restrict their oxygen supplies to only the hospitals of the State.

In a letter written to the States and UTs, Mr. Bhushan has emphasised the availability of adequate and uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen is an important pre-requisite for managing moderate and severe cases of COVID-19. The Health Secretary has strongly reinforced that it is the responsibility of every State to ensure that every hospitalised COVID patient receives oxygen.

The Health Ministry has reiterated the critical importance of oxygen in hospitals for the management of critical COVID patients. Medical oxygen constitutes an essential public health commodity. Any impediment in the supplies of medical oxygen in the country may critically impact the management of patients suffering from COVID-19 disease in other parts of the country, said a government statement.

Moreover, some of the major oxygen manufacturers and suppliers already have existing supply agreements with hospitals in various states with a legal obligation to fulfill such agreements, they said.

Also Read: ‘Healthcare System In Rural India Is A Cause Of Concern,’ Says Public Healthcare Expert Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

According to the Health Ministry, the COVID management strategy is based on a standard of care treatment guidelines. These guidelines have ensured a uniform and standardised quality of medical care in all the COVID facilities, including hospitals.

For moderate and severe cases, adequate oxygen support, appropriate and timely administration of anti-coagulants and widely available and inexpensive corticosteroids, in accordance with the protocol, can be considered to be the mainstay of COVID-19 therapy, the Health Ministry said.

The Health Ministry further informed that adequate supply of oxygen throughout the country has enabled effective clinical care of the hospitalised moderate and severe cases, in conjunction with other measures.

The adopted host of strategies have actively resulted in the rising recovery rate and steadily declining Case Fatality Rate (CFR) at 1.67 per cent. To date, 35,42,663 people have recovered from coronavirus disease. The country has reported 4.56 million cases so far.

Also Read: Expert Blog: Know The Facts About COVID-19 Testing

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.) 

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.  


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