New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced that the central government has decided to set up 551 dedicated pressure swing Adsorption (PSA) medical oxygen generation plants "to boost oxygen availability to hospitals and help people" across the country as the country battles hard against the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

"Oxygen plants in every district to ensure adequate oxygen availability... An important decision that will boost oxygen availability to hospitals and help people across the nation," he tweeted.

Earlier in the day, his office said that that the PM Cares Fund has given in-principle approval for allocation of funds for their installation. It said that these plants will serve as a major boost to oxygen availability at the district level.

These dedicated plants will be established in identified government hospitals in district headquarters in various states and union territories, and their procurement will be done through the Health and Family Welfare ministry.

The PM Cares Fund had earlier this year allocated Rs 201.58 crores for 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 the 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 would 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, it said.

Such a system will go a long way in ensuring that government hospitals in districts do not face sudden disruption of oxygen supplies and have uninterrupted access to it to manage COVID-19 patients and other sick persons needing such support.

India is struggling with a second wave of the pandemic with more than 3,00,000 daily new coronavirus cases being reported in the past few days, and hospitals in several states are reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds.

Several hospitals in the national capital are grappling with severe shortage of medical oxygen. While some hospitals have managed to make short-term arrangements, there is no immediate end to the crisis in sight.

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma