Experts had warned that the demand could go up to 800 tonnes a day, and the State was allotted 600 tonnes under the national oxygen plan. But it remained in the range of 470-530 tonnes, said Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan.
“The requirement has come down at major hospitals like Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. Apart from domestic production of about 400 tonnes, we have been getting oxygen under the national plan from Rourkela, Dolvi, Jamshedpur and other parts of the country,” he said.
The demand was brought down by streamlining supply and storage, and also because a majority of hospitals have been using oxygen concentrators, he added.
Dr P Umanath, Director, Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation, said domestic oxygen production remained the same but the State was getting more supply from eastern states.
Though they still have patients dependent on oxygen, the overall demand in private hospitals in the city have decreased in the last one week.
“During the peak demand, our utilisation was around 1,200 litres of oxygen per minute. We installed oxygen generators in early April, which supplied 250 litres per minute and have more than 100 cylinders on standby for emergency. Now the situation has eased, as the number of patients requiring oxygen has reduced,” said Dr Iyappan Ponnuswamy, medical director and chief radiologist, Kauvery Hospital.
However, experts cautioned that Tamil Nadu would again face shortage if the storage is not improved. Public health expert Dr K Kolandaisamy noted that if the number of new cases during the third wave was more than the second wave, the oxygen stored now may not be enough. “So, the State should increase storage capacity and get more oxygen concentrators,” he said.