Noticing that several states are restricting oxygen supplies under the pretext of border curbs, which are not in place in Unlock 4, the Union health ministry has asked urged all state governments to restrain from the practice. It is the responsibility of every state to ensure that every hospitalized Covid-19 patient receives oxygen, the health secretary wrote to the states and the Union Territories
In the fourth phase of Unlock, which commenced from September 1, there is no border restriction anywhere in the country. But it has come to the knowledge of the health ministry that the states are exercising some provisions under various acts and also mandating the manufacturers/suppliers located in the state to restrict their oxygen supplies to only the hospitals of the state, the letter said.
Medical oxygen is an essential public health commodity, the letter said adding that any impediment in the supplies of medical oxygen may critically impact the management of patients suffering from Covid-19 disease in other parts of the country. Moreover, some of the major oxygen manufacturers/supplies already have existing supply agreements with hospitals in various states with a legal obligation to fulfill such agreements.