Today News Online Service
New Delhi, April 25
As hospitals reeled under oxygen shortages across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to announce oxygen plants for each district to ease the crisis.
“Oxygen plants in every district to ensure adequate oxygen availability… An important decision that will boost oxygen availability to hospitals and help people across the nation,” he said after the government announced the establishment of 551 pressure swing adsorption plants from PM CARES funds.
“In line with the prime minister’s direction of boosting availability of oxygen to hospitals, the PM CARES Fund has given in-principle approval for allocation of funds for installation of 551 dedicated Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Medical Oxygen Generation Plants inside public health facilities in the country. PM Modi has directed that these plants should be made functional as soon as possible. He said that these plants will serve as a major boost to oxygen availability at the district level,” a government statement said.
The dedicated plants will be established in identified government hospitals in district headquarters in various states and UTs.
The procurement will be done through Ministry of Health.
The PM CARES Fund had earlier this year allocated Rs 201.58 crores for installation of additional 162 dedicated Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Medical Oxygen Generation Plants inside public health facilities in the country.
Of these just about 33 have yet been installed.
The government said the basic aim behind establishing PSA Oxygen Generation Plants at government hospitals in the district headquarters is to further strengthen the public health system and ensure that each of these hospitals has a captive oxygen generation facility.
“Such an in-house captive oxygen generation facility would address the day-to-day medical oxygen needs of these hospitals and the district. In addition, the liquid medical oxygen (LMO) would serve as a ‘top up’ to the captive oxygen generation. Such a system will go a long way in ensuring that government hospitals in the districts do not face sudden disruption of oxygen supplies and have access to adequate uninterrupted oxygen supply to manage the COVID-19 patients and other patients needing such support,” the government said.
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today announced extension of the capital lockdown by a week saying Covid continued to wreak havoc.
He also complained that as against Centre’s allocation of 480 metric tonnes of oxygen to Delhi daily only about 330 MT had been arriving.
Supply issues continue to challenge the health systems with hospitals awaiting oxygen tankers with bated breath.
Gangaram Hospital received its committed supply at 5 am today as against 5 pm last evening and had to last night press red alarm for 100 patients in need of high flow oxygen.
Several other hospitals are making do with oxygen supplies by the hour spending days making panic calls to save their patients.
Gangaram Hospital said it was after three days that the supplies will last them for 12 hours, which they said was some relief.
Several PSA Oxygen plants had been tendered last year but speed of installation remains poor with most districts yet to have their own plants.
Meanwhile, rising daily Covid cases continue to exert pressure on the system with Delhi losing 357 patients in a day yesterday which means one death per four minutes.