After a meeting of Empowered Group 2 (EG2) to review the availability of essential medical equipment and oxygen amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the union health ministry on Thursday informed that 100 new hospitals will get their own oxygen plant under the PM-Cares Fund.
As per a statement, 162 Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) plants sanctioned under PM-Cares are also being reviewed for completion.
"Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) plants manufacture oxygen and help hospitals become self-sufficient in their requirement for medical oxygen. 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 statement said.
It further said, "The EG2 directed the health ministry to identify another 100 hospitals in far-flung locations for consideration of sanction for installation of PSA plants."
Mapping of oxygen sources for 12 high burden states is another important decision that was taken in the meeting.
"There has been increasing demand for medical oxygen, especially from the 12 states with a high burden of active COVID cases - Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. While the demand in Maharashtra is expected to beyond the available production capacity of the state, states like Madhya Pradesh do not have any production capacity to meet their demand for medical oxygen," the statement said.
It further stated that in order to give clarity and assurance over the supply of oxygen a mapping exercise was being undertaken jointly by DPIIT, MOHFW, Ministry of Steel, various critically affected states, Petroleum and Explosives Safety Orgsation (PESO) along with other key stakeholders.
"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 on the sources of medical oxygen," it said, adding that accordingly, 4880 MT, 5619 MT and 6593 MT have been indicated to these 12 states for meeting their projected demand as of April 20, April 25 and April 30.
The statement further said that in view of the increasing demand for medical oxygen, EG2 decided to float a tender for the import of 50,000 MT of medical oxygen.
"MOHFW has been directed to finalise the tender for the same and also explore possible sources for import identified by the missions of MEA. EG2 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," it said.
( With inputs from ANI )
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