Cyclonic storm warning : Kerala CM urges PM to enhance daily Oxygen allocation to state

Thiruvananthapuram : Citing the cyclonic storm warning by Meteorological Centre here and it forecast of heavy to very heavy rains, accompanied by gusty winds in parts of the state on May 14 and 15, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to enhance its daily Oxygen allocation to 450 Metric Tonnes (MT) anticipating that there may be disruptions in electricity supply to oxygen generation plants and filling stations.

“As the state of Kerala will not be able to manage the oxygen demand without assistance from the Centre, it is requested that the state’s daily oxygen allocation may be immediately enhanced to 450 MT,” Mr Vijayan said in a letter to Mr Modi on Thursday.

There can also be disruptions in road transport which would impede timely oxygen supply, necessary to save precious lives, he felt.

The current oxygen generation capacity in Kerala is 212.34 Metric Tonnes (MT) per day. 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, Mr Vijayan said.

He said at present, the storage of oxygen in hospitals is only for less than 24 hours.

It is also requested that at least 300 MT oxygen may be immediately rushed to Kerala from neighbouring storage points to augment the storage in hospitals in the wake of the impending cyclonic storm.

Kerala is witnessing a major surge of the COVID-19 cases. The number of active COVID-19 cases aggregate to 4.19 lakh. In the second wave of the pandemic, the state is witnessing significant increase in the number of patients who require critical care including oxygen support, the Chief Minister said.

It may kindly be taken note of that the Government of Kerala is adhering to the decisions of the Empowered Group-Il, Government of India and continuing to supply liquid medical oxygen to other States, even though the oxygen situation in Kerala is already precarious, he added.

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