100 new hospitals to have their own oxygen plant under PM-CARES fund: Govt

The Union Health Ministry has said that 100 new Hospitals in the country will have their own Oxygen plant under Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) Fund. The decision was taken at a meeting of Empowered Group 2 (EG2) which was held yesterday to review the availability of essential medical equipment and oxygen during COVID.

The Ministry said, Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) plants manufacture oxygen and help hospitals become self-sufficient in their requirement for medical oxygen. It said, 162 PSA plants sanctioned under PM-CARES are being closely reviewed for early completion of 100 percent of the plants to enhance self-generation of oxygen in hospitals especially in remote areas. The Empowered Group 2 has directed the Health Ministry to identify 100 hospitals in far flung locations for consideration of sanction for installation of PSA plants.

The Health Ministry in a statement said that Medical oxygen is a critical component in the treatment of COVID affected patients and there has been increasing demand for medical oxygen, especially from the 12 states with high burden of active COVID cases. These States are Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. The Ministry added that sources of medical oxygen and their production capacity was mapped to match the requirement of states and an indicative framework has been developed to guide the states.

It said, accordingly, 4 thousand 880 Metri Tonnes, 5 thousand 619 Metric Tonnes and 6 thousand 593 Metric Tonnes have been indicated to these 12 states for meeting their projected demand as on 20th April, 25th April and 30th April. AIR correspondent reports that, in view of increasing demand for medical oxygen, the Empowered Group has also decided to float a tender for import of 50 thousand Metric Tonnes of medical oxygen. The Health Ministry has been directed to finalise the tender. It has also been asked to explore possible sources for import identified by the missions of Ministry of External Affairs. The Empowered Group 2 is monitoring the situation of demand and supply of medical oxygen continuously to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to support the uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen.

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