The Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday sent an SOS to the Centre seeking enhanced supply of medical oxygen as the demand is expected to touch 1,000 tonnes by May 15, officials said.
While the central government has now allotted 480 tonnes of medical oxygen to the state from various sources, the maximum consumption per day touched 550 tonnes (including government and private hospitals).
The state currently has a storage capacity of 515 tonnes.
There are about 25,000 Covid-19 patients on oxygen and ventilator support in hospitals across the state now.
At a high-level review meeting here on Covid-19, Medical and Health Department officials informed Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy that distress (for oxygen) was generally observed in Kurnool, Vijayawada, Ongole, SPS Nellore and Chittoor districts.
Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited, the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, would not be able to supply more than 100 tonnes of medical oxygen after May 15, the officials told the CM.
"To that extent we need to ensure additional sources for oxygen. The current allocation of quantities was completely illogical, as also the distance (from where the oxygen is sourced)," they pointed out.
They said getting oxygen from Angul/Rourkela (in neighbouring Odisha) was proving difficult as it required a huge number of tankers to be diverted from the existing system.
Subsequently, the Chief Minister wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking increased allocation, from INOX Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu.