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COVID-19: It is mammoth task to mobilise oxygen supply chain in such short period, says INOX’s Siddharth Jain

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Siddharth Jain, Director at Inox Air Products, spoke to CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan on how India can overcome this shortage and when the oxygen situation in the country will improve. Inox Air Products is the largest manufacturer, responsible for 75 percent of the medical oxygen infrastructure in India.

The Supreme Court recently set up a 12-member task force that will be reviewing and if need be revamp the oxygen allocation formula for states to ensure that it is 'effective and transparent'. Yesterday, the Centre highlighted that that it was producing 9,446 metric tonnes of oxygen a day.
Siddharth Jain, Director at Inox Air Products, spoke to CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan on how India can overcome this shortage and when the oxygen situation in the country will improve. Inox Air Products is the largest manufacturer, responsible for 75 percent of the medical oxygen infrastructure in India.
On the current situation, Jain said, “Pre-COVID the entire medical oxygen supply was only 700 tonne a day which the production all over India is at 9,400 tonne a day out of which almost over 8.5 thousand tonne a day is being supplied as medical oxygen.”
“The vertical rise in a short period of time of four weeks has been absolutely unprecedented globally. There is no country that has faced this increase in the case in such a short period of time. It really is a mammoth task to mobilise oxygen supply chain.”
State-wise, Jain said, “The number of SOS from Delhi has reduced and once again that is directly proportional to the number of new cases. We have seen the number of cases in Delhi reduce because of the lockdown hopefully. Right now Supreme Court has asked Delhi to create a strategic reserve which Delhi is in the process of doing right so hopefully that buffer and strategic reserve will help.”
“We have plants located in the northern part of Uttar Pradesh and servicing many cities. The supply from a month ago is up ten-fold and we are supplying almost 200 tonne a day and we are catering to all the hospitals that have been allocated to us.”
“A lot of the production from South India was travelling up to Maharashtra especially from Karnataka. Karnataka manufactures about 660 tonne a day of oxygen which is a pretty good number. As the cases in Maharashtra is coming down that flow is stopping, partially stopped and once that stop in its entirety I think Karnataka should be self-sufficient with the product that it has.”
He added, “In Maharashtra, as we see the cases come down maybe in another week or two with the lag effect Maharashtra from being a net importer will become a net exporter because it is one of the largest manufacturers of oxygen as well at about 1,300 tonne a day. So I am very hopeful that Maharashtra should be able to support the southern states in the next week or twos time.”
For full interview, watch the accompanying video...

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