A day after Jammu and Kashmir initiated an inquiry against a private hospital after the deaths of four COVID patients due to a shortage of oxygen, the UT administration has decided to conduct demand and supply audit of the life-saving gas.

"To scientifically ascertain the medical oxygen demand in Jammu and Kashmir, the Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam directed a detailed audit of oxygen demand across all hospitals and medical institutions", the government spokesperson said.

The Chief Secretary has also directed the constitution of divisional level teams to conduct the audit within two days and specify the requirement of gaseous oxygen to meet the needs of patients in COVID facilities, non-COVID hospitals, private hospitals, and Army hospitals.

It was impressed upon the concerned to also include in the audit the estimation for future increase in COVID dedicated beds taking the existing tally from 4200 to 7000, and facilities to be provided at COVID care centers with at least 7000 oxygen-supported beds.

24 Covid patients die due to oxygen shortage in Karnataka government hospital

Experts To Audit Oxygen Generation And Storage Capacity

Divisional Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir divisions are asked to constitute divisional level expert committees to conduct the audit of oxygen generation and storage at various pressure levels to precisely assess the availability of oxygen through in-house production and imports. The oxygen supply audit will depict available resources, as well as arrangements, being made to increase supply in the future.

Private sector roped in to ensure supply of oxygen in government hospitals

Oxygen War Room To Be Established

The Chief Secretary also directed the establishment of an oxygen war room headed by the Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce with subsidiary war rooms under respective Divisional Commissioner to monitor and manage supply and distribution of oxygen in Jammu and Kashmir by coordinating with suppliers and user agencies. Meanwhile, the Health and Medical Education Department was asked to ensure optimal uses of oxygen across the hospitals with minimal wastage.

Only Medical Professionals To Operate Call Centres

The government has decided that COVID call centers will be operated by a team supported by medical professionals. They will collect vital information from patients and suitably direct them to triage points for seeking medical advice and assistance. The COVID triage points will be established at district hospitals, CD hospitals at Jammu and Srinagar, and at the emergency blocks of GMC, Jammu/Srinagar, and SKIMS, Srinagar.