The Punjab government will install 75 more oxygen plants in the state by July end, boosting the supply of the life-saving gas ahead of a possible third Covid wave, Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan said on Sunday. Mahajan said all relevant departments have been asked to complete the installation of pressure swing adsorption (PSA) plants by July end, ensuring pressure and purity of oxygen.
With this, the demand for medical oxygen will be met at all healthcare institutes in Punjab, she said in an official statement after chairing a high-level meeting to review the installation of the PSA plants and allied works. Mahajan asked the relevant officials to ensure the completion of all pre-activities for the installation of PSA plants by July 15 so that work of installation and commissioning is completed by July 25.
During the meeting, Principal Secretary (Water Supply and Sanitation) Jaspreet Talwar, who heads the State Oxygen Management Group, told Mahajan that Punjab has two PSA plants, with a capacity of 1,400-litres per minute (LPM) each in Ludhiana and Jalandhar. While 42 plants have been allotted by the Centre, mainly for medical colleges and district hospitals in the state, another 33 plants have been arranged by various agencies and private bodies in the state.
This will add to the state capacity of generating medical oxygen by more than 50 metric tonnes (MT) per day, she added. A pressure swing adsorption plant utilises the phenomena of some gases getting attracted to or adsorbed to particular solid surfaces when passing by it under high pressure, an official said.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.