Oxygen demand shoots up as Covid cases spike in tricity
With Covid-19 cases crossing the 19,000 mark in the tricity, demand for oxygen has shot up because of patients requiring breathing support due to lung complications associated with the disease .
Medical oxygen suppliers report major increase in demand since private hospitals started admitting Covid-19 patients.
There are around 2,728 active cases in Chandigarh with 9.6% in hospitals, most of them requiring oxygen.
“Around 5% Covid-19 patients require oxygen in Mohali and government hospitals have ample supplies. But in private hospitals the demand has gone up as patients from others parts of the region are being admitted,” said Dr Manjit Singh, Mohali civil Surgeon.
There was no oxygen shortage though, as “we had accessed the growing demand on time and made arrangements accordingly,” said Dr Ravi Gupta, medical superintendent, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, Chandigarh.
However, demand for oxygen was increasing in a number of hospitals, including GMCH in Sector 48, where supply was coming in through cylinders.
Similarly, at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), demand had increased in the last two weeks as more Covid-19 patients were being admitted – not just in the dedicated Covid block but also in emergency.
“Though a few services have been curtailed to provide Covid-19 services, there has been a marginal increase in oxygen consumption in the hospital, which was expected to grow manifold in future considering the present scenario. At present the supply chain is as per requirement,” said a senior PGIMER doctor.
Surinder Singh Virdi, managing director of Anaesthetic Gases Private Limited, Dera Bassi, a major supplier of oxygen in the tricity, says: “Demand is up since private hospitals started admitting patients. Before Covid, we used to supply around 15,000 bulk oxygen cylinders per month in the region and now it’s 25,000 cylinders.
Rupinder Singh Sachdeva, managing director, Hitech Industries Limited, a key producer of medical oxygen in the region, said they were now only supplying to major hospitals. “Our firm’s daily procurement of liquid oxygen from other states have fallen from around 30% as suppliers are meeting the demand of other states,” he adds.