Task force presents formula to understand oxygen need during Covid-19

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National Task Force (NTF) deployed by the Supreme Court has recommended a formula to identify the oxygen needs for the country while considering “all levels of care” with the current Covid-19 pandemic.

For instance, the NTF in a report to the Supreme Court recommended that 1.5 metric tonnes (MT) of liquid medical oxygen will be needed for a hospital with 100 beds and 25 intensive care unit (ICU) beds is a formula looked at. In a 163 page report to the apex court, the committee said, “Such a formula will be a part of a dynamic, evolving process and open to modification and consultation with states as the situation evolves.”

The panel having 12 members, constituted by the Supreme Court in May, further suggested that to identify the allocation of oxygen, the main factors should be active Covid-19 caseload of states and Union territories, along with the doubling rate of infection. According to the panel, this would consider both the present situation and any further needs. It has urged states and UTs to present a mechanism for estimating the oxygen inventory for the upcoming 24 hours and for a few days by applying the formula.

The NTF said, “These requirements would be sent to the Central Oxygen War Room,” adding that to assure the right use of oxygen, audits should be conducted for hospitals.

Some other suggestions include placing state-wise oxygen committees, managing a buffer of a minimum of six cylinders for remote regions to manage in case of any delay or increase in demand, or used for shifting patients to other hospitals.

The NTF also advised creating a dashboard for the states to review the supply and demand of oxygen.

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