As many hospitals in the national capital have been sending out emergency calls for oxygen in the last few days, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government on Friday decided to maintain a buffer stock of the gas, which will be used during extremely critical situations, PTI reports quoting government sources. 

This comes after Prime Minister held a virtual meeting with the states over the COVID-19 situation in the nation. The central government has increased the daily quota of medical oxygen supplied to Delhi to 480 metric tonnes from 378 MT.

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According to the PTI report, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Thursday appointed three IAS officers as nodal officers to ensure smooth distribution and supply of oxygen to various hospitals in the national capital. 

A government officer told PTI that hospitals will be able to “receive liquid medical oxygen from the buffer stock only under critical situation when their supplies are alarmingly low to meet the needs of three hours or less.”

On Thursday and Friday, several hospitals in Delhi, including Sir Ganga Ram and Max Hospital Saket, sent out an SOS call, saying they have barely one or two hours’ worth of oxygen supply left.

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According to PTI, to manage the oxygen shortage, each hospital will designate one of their senior staff to serve as a nodal officer for the gas matters. These officers will also maintain data and make requests for the emergency supply of oxygen in critical situations from the buffer stock. 

However, the hospitals will also conduct oxygen audit to find out reasons for excess use of the gas, as some have been found using more oxygen than the prescribed guideline of the central government, the official said, PTI reports. 

A detailed record of liquid medical oxygen and cylinders, consumption and delivery will be maintained by the hospitals and shared with the health department on daily basis, he stated.

The hospitals are being assigned a daily quota of oxygen that will be reviewed and revised periodically. Also, the suppliers of liquid oxygen will require to maintain and share daily reports to the concerned officials on daily basis, he added.