India to build over 500 new medical oxygen plants to ensure supplies amid COVID-19 surge
As many as 551 new medical oxygen generation plants would be set up across India in a bid to address the shortage of oxygen amid the COVID-19 surge, said an official statement issued by the prime minister office, Xinhua reports.
The federal government's decision to set up these oxygen plants assumes significance in the wake of widespread shortage of oxygen at hospitals across the country, leading to deaths of many COVID-19 patients, especially in Delhi over the past few days.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed that these plants should be made functional as soon as possible, and that these plants will serve as a major boost to oxygen availability at the district level, said the official statement.
These dedicated plants will be established in identified government hospitals in district headquarters in various states 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 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.
India's COVID-19 tally reached 16,960,172 on Sunday with as many as 349,691 new cases recorded in the past 24 hours.
This was the fourth consecutive day when over 300,000 cases were registered in a single day.