AMARAVATI: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday requesting the Centre to increase its allocation of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) for the state. He also asked for the government to direct Bharat Biotech and ICMR-NIV to transfer the Covaxin manufacturing technology and provide the viral strain to "whoever is interested and capable of manufacturing the vaccine" so that the production could be ramped up.
Oxygen supply due from Chennai and Karnataka was delayed on the 10th of this month. Eleven people have died in Tirupati due to delayed arrival of oxygen, he stated in the letter. The patients died after the oxygen supply was disrupted due to a brief delay in the arrival of tankers from Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu to state-run Hospital in Tirupati, Chittoor district.
The letter mentioned that the current import of oxygen from Karnataka should be increased from 20 metric tonnes to 150 metric tonnes.
They demanded an increase in the current import of 210 metric tonnes of oxygen from Odisha to 400 metric tonnes.
YS Jagan urged the Prime Minister to direct Bharat Biotech to transfer the vaccine manufacturing technology of Covaxin to those capable and willing to produce Covid-19 vaccines, in order to help the country meet its vaccine demand.
He added that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV) should provide the viral strain to all interested vaccine manufacturers.
“We would request you to please direct Bharat Biotech to please do the technology transfer of manufacturing the Covaxin and ICMR-NIV to provide the viral strain to whoever interested and capable of producing the vaccine,” the Chief Minister wrote.
The Chief Minister who took serious note of the death of 11 patients who died in Chittoor Ruia Government Hospital in Tirupati constituted a three-member committee of IAS officers to ensure uninterrupted procurement of the live-saving gas for the state. Three senior IAS officers including the special chief secretary (industries and commerce) Karikal Valaven, principal secretary (skill development and training) G Ananta Ramu and chairman of AP Pollution Control Board A K Parida will now look into the supply of oxygen from these states.
The Chief Minister earlier held a high-level meeting to review the incident and take stock of the oxygen situation in the State.