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Oxygen shortage: 323 cylinders delivered to Kasaragod from other districts

The Dakshina Kannada district administration on Wednesday decided to officially suspend the supply of oxygen from Mangaluru to Kasaragod.

To mitigate the oxygen shortage faced in the district for treating patients in hospitals, 323 cylinders were delivered from other districts by Wednesday evening.

This would provide temporary relief in a time when the Dakshina Kannada district administration on Wednesday decided to officially suspend the supply of oxygen from Mangaluru to Kasaragod.

According to health department officials, the cylinders were brought from Kannur, Kozhikode and Malappuram on Wednesday evening. The department said 168 D type (7,000 litres capacity) and 155 B type cylinder (10 litres) had been received till Thursday morning. Besides, about 90 more D type was expected to arrive in the district by the evening, the official said.

He further said that 34 cylinders were also refilled and given to private hospitals. All these cylinders would provide some relief to meet the demand for a day.

Many of the private hospitals in the district were dependent on the cylinders supplied from Mangaluru and from the plant in Kannur. However, the hospitals faced mounting pressure following the delay in supply from the Kannur plant owing to a sudden increase in demand.

At present, there are 147 oxygen beds in four government hospitals, including 34 in Kasaragod Government Medical College, Ukkinadka, eight in the General Hospital, Kasaragod, 25 in the District Hospital, Kanhangad, and 80 in the Tata COVID hospital. This warrants a net 370 number of D type (7000-litre capacity) cylinders.

This was calculated at an average flow rate of 10 litres per minute per patient.

Similarly, for the 29 private hospitals in the district, 92 numbers of D type cylinders are required. However, the crisis in the private hospital resulted when the supply of these oxygen cylinders, which were brought from Mangaluru, was stopped.

The district administration has also started the ‘oxygen cylinder challenge’ to encourage industries, companies and others to hand over the unused cylinders for using it for hospitals.

Over 100 industries in the district had initially delivered the cylinders. After the oxygen challenge was initiated more than 30 cylinders have been received by the administration and many more have agreed to deliver. However, the cylinders would be taken after considering the condition.

The private hospitals in the last few days faced a crisis and they had to shift the critically ill patients to other hospitals due to the non-availability of oxygen cylinders on time.

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