Centre promises 3,600 oxygen plants to tackle a possible third Covid wave


Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Amid a looming threat of the third Covid wave in India, the Centre has announced that 3,631 oxygen PSA plants are being installed in the country—nearly half of which will be installed through central resources.

These plants will have the capacity to generate about 4,800 MT of medical oxygen. In a press briefing on Thursday, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that of the planned oxygen plants to be installed in hospitals, 1,595 or about 47% have already been commissioned.

As per the details shared, of the total 3,651 PSA plants sanctioned with 4,751 MT capacity generation when commissioned, 1,491 plants with 2,281 MT have been commissioned with central support.

Nearly 2,140 with 2,289 MT capacity on the other hand are planned with the states and other sources such as states, urban local bodies, MPLAD, and through CSR activities.

Of the 1,595 PSA plants commissioned so far with a capacity of 2,088 MT medical oxygen generation, 731 (with 1024 MT) PSA plants have been set up with central resources.

These plants are of utmost importance given that the second wave of the pandemic had triggered a massive shortage of the crucial oxygen supply in most parts of the country during April-May this year.

ALSO READ | Kerala logs 68 per cent of total COVID-19 cases reported in India: Union Health Ministry

The Union health ministry, while noting that situation in Mizoram with Covid cases surging, also urged states to prepare ahead for any potential spike highlighting that as the situation is stable with cases reducing even in Kerala, the months of October and November would be critical given the festive season.

“The next quarter will be critical. We advise states and municipal corporations to prepare ahead to ensure best models of home care and also to prepare infrastructure,” V K Paul, member (health) Niti Aayog said.

Figures shared also showed that three in five Indian adults—or 62 %- have now been covered with at least one Covid vaccine dose and while one in every five –or 20 % of the adult population is now fully immunised.

The latest government data showed Chandigarh entering the coveted league of states and UTs to have ensured inoculation of their entire adult population with at least the first shot against coronavirus.

The country, by Thursday evening, had seen a total of 77.1 crore Covid jabs administered in India of which 58.26 lakh were administered in a day.

Commenting on the scale of inoculation the Centre said that in the first 15 days of September over 11 crore doses—or about 76 lakh vaccinations in a day on an average– have been administered which is double of the doses given through the entire month of May.

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