COVID-19 crisis: Centre to set up 551 oxygen generation plants 'as soon as possible' using PM-CARES fund

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed that these plants should be made functional 'as soon as possible' and that they will 'majorly boost' oxygen availability, the PMO said

FP Staff April 25, 2021 15:05:54 IST
COVID-19 crisis: Centre to set up 551 oxygen generation plants 'as soon as possible' using PM-CARES fund

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A total of 551 oxygen generation plants will be set up in healthcare facilities across the country using the PM-CARES fund, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said on Sunday. The move is a bid to boost medical oxygen production amid a severe shortage of the resource being used to treat COVID-19 patients across the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed that these plants should be made functional "as soon as possible" and that they will "majorly boost" oxygen availability, the PMO statement added.

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"These dedicated plants will be established in identified government hospitals in district headquarters in various states/UTs. The procurement will be done through Ministry of Health and Family Welfare," the statement said.

The PM-CARES Fund had, earlier this year, allocated Rs 201.58 crores for the installation of additional 162 dedicated PSA medical oxygen generation plants inside public health facilities in the country, the PMO noted.

It said the basic aim behind establishing PSA oxygen plants at government hospitals in 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 will 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. 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 PMO said.

The Centre and state governments are grappling with a second wave of the pandemic with more than 3,00,000 single-day new cases being reported in the past few days. Hospitals in several states, including Delhi, are reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds.

Over the last week, Delhi hospitals faced a severe shortage of medical oxygen, crucial in treating COVID-19 patients.

While hospitals admins are sending out SOS messages for an urgent oxygen supply and also moving the Delhi High Court seeking to replenish their stocks, at least two hospitals in the National Capital have faced casualties reportedly due to the lack of oxygen for their COVID-19 patients.

Twenty patients died in the intervening night between Friday and Saturday in the Jaipur Golden Hospital in the National Capital, due to the lack of oxygen.

"Oxygen pressure has dipped as we are running out of stock," Jaipur Golden Hospital's medical director DK Baluja was quoted as saying by PTI.

With inputs from PTI

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