Over 551 dedicated Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) medical oxygen generation plants will be set up in public health facilities across the country to boost the availability of the life-saving gas amid reports of its shortage in several places battling the Covid surge.
It said the move was in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “direction of boosting the availability of oxygen to hospitals”. Sunday’s announcement came a day after the Union government decided to waive basic customs duty on the import of Covid-19 vaccines for three months.
It also decided to waive the basic customs duty and health cess on the import of medical oxygen and connected equipment for a period of three months with immediate effect.
“The basic aim behind establishing PSA oxygen generation 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,” the statement read.
“In addition, the liquid medical oxygen (LMO) would serve as a “top up” to the captive oxygen generation. Such a system will go a long way in ensuring that Government hospitals in the districts do not face sudden disruption of oxygen supplies and have access to adequate uninterrupted oxygen supply to manage the Covid-19 patients and other patients needing such support,” it added.
The PM-CARES Fund had earlier this year allocated ₹201.58 crores for the installation of an additional 162 dedicated oxygen plants in government hospitals.
The PMO went on to add that 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.