Kerala CM dashes letter to Modi for 300 MT of oxygen in wake of cyclonic storm

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a cyclonic storm warning forecasting heavy rain and winds in parts of the State on May 14 and May 15.

The Kerala government on Thursday urged the Centre to immediately rush at least 300 MT oxygen from neighbouring storage points to augment the storage in hospitals in the wake of the impending cyclonic storm.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a cyclonic storm warning forecasting heavy rain and winds in parts of the State on May 14 and May 15.

It is anticipated that there may be disruptions in electricity supply to oxygen generation plants and filling stations. Noting that there can also be disruptions in road transport which would impede timely oxygen supply necessary to save precious lives, the chief minister urged the Prime Minister to rush at least 300 MT oxygen to the state from neighbouring storage points.

He said the current oxygen generation capacity in Kerala is 212.34 MT per day and at present, the storage of oxygen in hospitals is only for less than 24 hours. “Based on scientific projections, the total daily oxygen requirement for medical purposes in Kerala could rapidly rise to 423.60 MT within the next three days”, the letter said.

The chief minister said presently, the state is witnessing a surge of the Covid-19 cases and the number of active cases aggregates to 4.19 lakh. He said in the second wave of the pandemic, the State is witnessing an increase in the number of patients who require critical care, including oxygen support.

“As the state government will not be able to manage the oxygen demand without assistance from the Central government, it is requested that Kerala’s daily oxygen allocation may be immediately enhanced to 450 MT,” it said. The chief minister said the Kerala government is continuing to supply liquid medical oxygen to other States, even though the oxygen situation in the State is already precarious.

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