Keeping in mind the surging second wave of COVID-19 infections across the country, State-run Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) will supply medical oxygen from its Kochi Refinery to government hospitals in Kerala.
The second-largest oil marketing company, BPCL will be supplying around 1.5 tonnes per day of oxygen to government hospitals from this facility. In 2020, it had supplied around 25 tonnes of medical oxygen when the average daily cases had risen in October-November period.
BPCL, in an official statement, said the build-own-operate unit of Kochi Refinery has a provision to produce and store liquid oxygen of 99.7% purity. “Currently, the company has around 20 tonnes of storage of oxygen from which the government hospitals will be supplied. This supply shall be free of cost to Government Hospitals.”
Other state governments have also turned to corporate to hwill elp stem the spread of the rising infections. Eknath Shinde, Maharashtra’s Urban Development Minister, tweeted that the state will get 100 tons of oxygen from Reliance Industries’ Jamnagar Refining facility. He said this will help aid Maharashtra battle with COVID-19.
Maharashtra has been hit hard by the second wave of COVID-19 and is facing a shortage of oxygen at its hospitals. As such, the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has written two letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighting that the state’s caseload is expected to double from 5.64 lakh to 11.9 lakh in the next two weeks. Thackery said the state needs more liquid oxygen and the requirement could be 2,000 metric tonnes by month-end against the current consumption of 1,200 MT.
The CM sought permission to airlift and transport oxygen from steel plants in the eastern and southern parts of the country under the National Disaster Management Act.