In view of the unprecedented surge in daily COVID19 cases, uninterrupted requirement of oxygen, oxygen supported and ICU beds have increased manifold. The matter of ensuring adequate and uninterrupted supply of oxygen for effective clinical management of severe COVID19 patients receiving medical care in the Central Government hospitals in New Delhi was reviewed by Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare in a high-level meeting on 23rd April 2021.
It was decided to install five PSA Oxygen plants by DRDO at different hospitals in the city. These are to be installed at AIIMS Trauma Centre, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML), Safdarjung Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College, and AIIMS, Jhajjar, Haryana. These medical oxygen plants are being funded by PM-Cares. In order to tackle the high surge in Covid-19 cases & subsequent oxygen shortage, PM-Cares has allocated funds for the installation of 500 Medical Oxygen Plants across the country. These plants are planned to be set up within three months.
Through a swift decision making, the order for installation of the Medical Oxygen Plants was placed the next day on 24th April 2021. Within a week, the first two plants have been airlifted from the manufacturing unit M/s Trident Pneumatics Pvt. Ltd., Coimbatore (technology partner of DRDO and has been given an order of 48 plants, in total), and have reached New Delhi on 4th, May 2021. The installation work has commenced at two sites- AIIMS, New Delhi and Dr RML Hospital on a war footing. The delivery schedules are being monitored very closely.
The installation of the Medical Oxygen Plant at AIIMS and RML Hospital has already started and is likely to be completed by tonight.
These Medical Oxygen Plants are based on indigenous Zeo-Lite technology, and are designed for a flow rate of 1000 liters per minute. The system caters for 190 patients at a flow rate of 5 LPM and or charge 195 cylinders per day. The Medical Oxygen Plant (MOP) technology has been developed by DRDO based on On-Board Oxygen Generation for LCA, Tejas. These plants will overcome the logistics issues of oxygen transportation and help the COVID-19 patients in emergency. CSIR has also ordered 120 MOP plants through its industries.
India has been leading the fight against the COVID19 pandemic through a “Whole of Government” and “Whole of society approach” where several Ministries, Departments and organisations of the Central Government have collaborated with the States and UTS to overcome the challenge of the unprecedented surge of the COVID pandemic. Guided by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of an “Atmanirbhar Bharat”, India has led the way by ramping its production capacities of medical infrastructure, equipments etc. DRDO and CSIR through their partner industries have been providing technical support in strengthening healthcare infrastructure across various States and UTs.