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Kerala Matters

April 25, 2021

Kerala does it again

State With Surplus Oxygen Amid Mounting Covid Crisis

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In the midst of all the Oxygen crisis in India, there's one state that's standing out, one state with a surplus of oxygen amidst a mounting Covid crisis and no points for guessing that state is Kerala. Kerala has actually increased its oxygen availability by 58 percent over the last year. So how is India’s only oxygen surplus state managing the crisis and why can't their model be followed by other states?
The Oxygen refilling units in Kerala is one of the reasons the state, despite a high number of cases is an oxygen surplus state. Unlike many states especially in the North. Since the start of the pandemic Kerala almost doubled the air separation units revamping six of them and today all 11 of them are running at full capacity according to the deputy chief controller of explosives, Dr. Venugopal. The Inox oxygen facility which is the biggest in the state used to provide almost 40 percent of its 149 metric tons capacity to industries till 2020. And now it is fully delivering its capacity, only to hospitals. At Thiruvananthapuram medical college the storage capacity has almost been doubled from 20 kilo liters of liquid medical oxygen to 40 kiloliters of liquid medical oxygen.
So what's the Kerala model? After the first Covidwave the state focused on augmenting capacity, rationalizing use, preparing for the crisis that a second wave could bring. Key government hospitals have additional storage capacities installed while the state increased its oxygen availability by 58 % within one year. “Even before October when we reached a peak we had this issue we knew that our oxygen capacity would be low so what we did was, that the government spent a lot of investment on oxygen Plants. You know the majority of the ICU beds are actually in medical colleges. So you take 10 medical colleges, all the 10 medical colleges are now having at least two liquid oxygen plants.” says K Santhosh, Assistant Superintendent.
Oxygen production in Kerala at nearly 220 metric tons is more than double the state's own demand. So it has been able to send oxygen to Tamilnadu, Karnataka, and Goa.
Source: NDTV India.