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Indian hospitals now need their own permanent oxygen plants

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New Delhi, May 7, 2021-
As Covid-19 pandemic moves from the urban centres to the hinterlands ravaging the over-burdened healthcare system, the medical fraternity on Saturday urged the government to install oxygen plants in all hospital premises as oxygen cylinders and concentrators are unable to meet the surge in demand for the life-saving gas.

The fact is that oxygen concentrators/cylinders cannot reach every nook and corner of the country and hospitals with their own oxygen-generating infrastructure can only supply oxygen to critical patients in this dire situation.

In a life-saving measure, a oxygen generator donated by the French government was installed in record 18 hours at Narayana Super Specialty Hospital in East Delhi, which is helping the hospital fill 48 cylinders weighing 40 litres to 60 litres each in 24 hours.

According to Dr V Ramana Prasad, Senior pulmonologist, KIMS hospital Hyderabad, installing oxygen plants is the need of the hour and the “government must ensure that it is implemented to avoid oxygen deprivation to the needy patients in smaller cities and towns where the pandemic is surging”.

The demand for oxygen has soared “seven-fold” in India amid the rising daily Covid-19 cases. According to the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry, the demand for life-saving gas spread from 12 states on April 15 to as many as 22 states on April 24.

In nine days, the demand for medical oxygen increased 67 per cent.

According to reports, India so far only has 1,224 tankers with a capacity of 16,732 MT to carry medical oxygen and the central government is in the process of manufacturing more cryogenic tankers.

The problem is that liquid medical oxygen is flammable and, in most cases, can’t be flown and has to be moved via road, rail or sea, which takes longer time to reach the hospitals.

An oxygen plant within the premises can quickly deliver the live-saving gas to patients.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said that they will set up 48 oxygen plants, including 21 that are being imported from France, across the capital.

“Medical collage hospital and large corporate hospitals can have permanent plants, but this is not possible for small hospitals/nursing homes,” Dr Sumant Mantri, Senior Consultant, Pulmonologist at Apollo Hospital, Bangalore told.

Dr Pratibha Dogra, Senior pulmonologist from W Pratiksha Hospital Gurgaon said that the hospitals in the country urgently need their own oxygen plants.

“We have to act urgently to increase oxygen production to meet the anticipated amount of oxygen requirement by covid patients given that we are still on the rising curve of the second wave,” Dogra told. (Agency)

Centre has to supply 700 MT oxygen to Delhi daily, says SC

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