75 oxygen plants to come up in Punjab to fight third wave


In order to augment the supplies and ensure adequate medical oxygen in all the state healthcare institutions as well as private hospitals, the Punjab Government will set up 75 pressure swing adsorption (PSA) plants in all the districts to combat the much-anticipated third Covid wave in the state.

This was disclosed by the Chief Secretary, Ms Vini Mahajan, after chairing a meeting to review the management of medical oxygen in the state healthcare institutions, here on Sunday.

She directed the senior health officers to make earnest efforts for early functioning of all the PSA plants in the state.

While two plants at Barnala and Nangal have already been made functional, the work on others is in full swing. Two under trial plants at Medical Colleges of Amritsar and Patiala have also been commissioned.

Besides, more than 5,000 oxygen concentrators (OCs) have also been provided to all the state hospitals, CHCs and health and wellness centres to take care of any emergent requirements. Furthermore, 3,000 OCs purchased by the Punjab Government with assistance of the World Bank are being distributed to the state hospitals.

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The Chief Secretary also constituted a state oxygen management group, headed by Principal Secretary Water Supply and Sanitation Jaspreet Talwar with Director Industry & Commerce C Sibin, PHSC MD Tanu Kashyap and Additional Secretary Water Supply and Sanitation Amit Talwar as its members. Ms Jaspreet Talwar has also been appointed as state nodal officer to keep liaison with the Government of India in this regard.

Taking stock of the availability and requirement of medical oxygen in the state, the Chief Secretary asked the newly constituted group to prepare an assessment report regarding actual requirement of the life-saving gas by the public as well as private healthcare institutions, requirement of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) plants, PSA plants and OCs besides adequate storage and transport facilities and availability of MO cylinders.

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Updating the availability of PSA plants in the state, Ms Jaspreet Talwar informed the meeting that Punjab has its own two PSA plants, having capacity of 1,400 litres per minute (LPM) while the Government of India has sanctioned 42 more plants with 30,500 LPM besides 33 plants with 16,977 LPM capacity have been provided by the donors.

The Chief Secretary was apprised that around 34,000 medical oxygen cylinders were already available in the state. In addition to this, 2,500 cylinders were received from the donors and 1000 more expected from the donors.

Principal Secretary Health and Family Welfare Hussan Lal, Principal Secretary Medical Education and Research DK Tiwari, Health and Medical Education Adviser Dr KK Talwar and BFUHS Vice-Chancellor Dr Raj Bahadur also attended the meeting.