40 hospitals to get own O2 plants in Andhra

Rs 309 crore already allocated for project, plants will come up in 3 months, says Singhal  
A biker takes an oxygen cylinder to a patient, in Vijayawada on Friday | P Ravindra Babu
A biker takes an oxygen cylinder to a patient, in Vijayawada on Friday | P Ravindra Babu

VIJAYAWADA: Pressure swing adsorption (PSA) oxygen generating plants will be established permanently at 40 district, area and teaching hospitals across the state in three months, announced prinicpal secretary (health) Anil Kumar Singhal on Friday. The state government has already allocated Rs 309 crore for the purpose, he added.  

Briefing the media, Singhal said these units will be set up based on the bed strength of hospitals, and tenders will be finalised shortly.  “We are taking these measures as talks of a possible Covid third wave are making rounds among the scientific community. The capacity of the plants will depend on the bed strength of the hospitals.”

Out of Rs 309 crore allocated for the project, Rs 180 crore is for oxygen plants, Rs 25 crore for civil works, and the rest for laying of pipelines. The state government had decided to procure 50 cryogenic tankers, and orders for 25 of them were placed. An estimated budget of Rs 46 crore was allocated for the same.  Singhal said the government is trying to get more oxygen allocations from the Centre, and succeeded to some extent as the present allocations were increased from 480 to 500 metric tonnes. 

Between Thursday and Friday morning, 470 metric tonnes of oxygen were supplied to government and private hospitals. On Remdesivir position, he said 22,105 doses were available at government hospitals, and 13,150 more at private hospitals. “The number of calls to 104 call centre are increasing, and 17,062 calls were received in 24 hours. Over 3,000 people sought hospital admissions.”Singhal clarified that when the government asked the private Covid hospitals to allocate 50 per cent of beds, it did not mean that they were to be given for free. 

“The government will be reimbursing the amount to the private hospitals for treating Covid patients under Arogyasri, as per the rates fixed. A government order was issued today in that direction.” Giving details of the vaccination progress, Singhal said a total of 73,49,960 Covishield and Covaxin doses were received so far. “We have another two lakh doses in hand. All of the 6.9 lakh doses of Covishield needed for the first fortnight of May, have been received; 1.08 lakh Covaxin doses are awaited,” he said. 

The state government had allocated Rs 45 crore to procure 9.81 Covishield and 3.43 Covaxin doses, and the payment for the same was made. With regard to recruitment of medical professionals, he said those who worked on a temporary basis during the first wave were given 15 per cent weightage. Orders to this effect may be issued on Saturday.

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