A worker stands as a tanker is filled with liquid oxygen to be transported to a COVID-19 hospital in Ahmedabad in April 2021 (Image: Reuters/Amit Dave)
The government has commissioned 245 Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen generation plants across the country, out of the total 1,222 plants that were sanctioned under the PM-CARES fund, the Health Ministry has informed Parliament. The government wants to operationalise all the plants by August 15.
In a written response submitted to the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said 245 plants have been commissioned with a total capacity of 1771.76 MT as on July 20, 2021. "Apart from this, 351 PSA plants are being installed by different ministries in different public health facilities," she added.
The National Medical Commission has amended the regulations to make a PSA plant compulsory for every medical college. The states have also been asked to install oxygen generation plants in all requisite public health facilities and also facilitate their installation in private health facilities.
As per the data uploaded by the states on the portal concerned, states are setting up 1,023 PSA plants from their own funds, Pawar told Parliament.
Back in April, the government had announced that dedicated plants would be established in identified government hospitals in district headquarters. The procurement of the plants is done through the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Recently, Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra had said all the plants are likely to be operationalised by August 15.
Covid aid to states
Pawar also informed the Parliament that during 2019-20, Rs. 1,113.21 crore was released to the states/UTs under the National Health Mission towards management and containment of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of the Rs 15,000 crore COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness package approved in April 2020, so far Rs. 13,719.22 crore have been spent, she said.
Of this, Rs 8147.29 crore have been released to the states, along with the supply of essential materials to the tune of Rs. 3,389.7 crore such as PPEs, N95 masks, ventilators.
Earlier this month, the government brought in an additional package for Rs. 23,123 crore to strengthen district and sub-district capacity for an effective and rapid response to the pandemic.