Govt to install 3,631 oxygen PSA plants

The government has initiated steps to install 3,631 oxygen PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) plants across India. Learning lessons from the second Covid-19 wave when the country faced severe shortage of oxygen resulting in several deaths and serious illness across the country, the Center has decided to take this step. Nearly half of these oxygen PSA plants will be installed through central resources, a move planned amid a looming threat of the third Covid wave in India.

These plants will have a capacity to generate about 4,800 MT of medical oxygen. “Of the planned oxygen plants to be installed in hospitals, 1,595 or about 47% have already been commissioned,” Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan has said.

Photo courtesy: The Net

Central support to set up 1,491 oxygen PSA plants

Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said while sharing information on the subject, of the total 3,631 PSA plants sanctioned with 4,751 MT capacity generation when commissioned, 1,491 plants with 2,281 MT have been commissioned with central support.

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

Importance of oxygen PSA plants

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. The official, 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.

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“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, Niti Aayog member said.

In fact, the importance of these PSA plants gets realized as it is seen total number of covid infections rise to 29,70,208 and the toll to 37,668 and Karnataka logs 847 new covid-19 cases and 20 deaths. There were also 946 discharges while taking the total number of recoveries in the State so far to 29,18,890. Of 847 new cases reported, 312 were from Bengaluru Urban as the city saw 219 discharges and six deaths. The total number of active cases in the state is at 13,621   While the positivity rate for the day stood at 0.57 per cent, the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) was 2.36 per cent, a health department bulletin said.

Coming behind Bengaluru Urban in number of deaths was Dakshina Kannada (5) and Udupi (2), followed by others. Among new cases, Dakshina Kannada accounted for 108, Mysuru 74, Shivamoga 52, Udupi 48, Hassan 46, followed by others.   

Black fungus affects 3,900 in Karnataka

Karnataka Health Minister  K Sudhakar has  said 3,900 people in the state have been infected by black fungus so far. “Mucormycosis, also known as black fungus infections, are found after recovery from Covid-19 and 3,900 people have been infected in the state so far,” Sudhakar said. The minister said the state was well equipped with all medical resources like oxygen PSA plants, medicines among other things.  

Responding to a question raised by Congress MLA from Bhalki, Eshwara Khandre, in the assembly, he said, considering the treatment for the black fungus infection being costly, the government has decided to provide free treatment.

“96,060 vials of Liposomal amphotericin (the drug required for black fungus) has been procured, and 51,000 have already been distributed to districts,” he added. Regarding shortage in supply of drugs for black fungus in Bidar district, the Minister said there is no shortage of Liposomal amphotericin, but there is shortage of Posaconazole.

“As many as 6,800 Posaconazole tablets we have procured and 6,704 has been sent to districts, but we need more, already indent has been raised, in 3-4 days once we get, it will be sent to districts including Bidar,” he added. 

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