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State takes steps to ensure 24x7 O2 supply to 15,500 Covid patients

State takes steps to ensure 24x7 O2 supply to 15,500 Covid patients
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KOLKATA: In a bid to ensure that not a single Covid patient suffers in need of oxygen when there is no shortage in its supply in the state, the Bengal government on Tuesday has taken a series of steps to ensure round-the-clock uninterrupted supply of oxygen to 15,500 Covid patients.

As many as 12,500 Covid patients get round-the-clock uninterrupted supply of oxygen with a gas pipeline set-up developed in 105 hospitals. The number would go up by another 3,000 with the same to get installed in another 41 hospitals, stated a notification issued by Nabanna.

With the augmentation of the number of beds — besides seamless oxygen supply — being the most focused area in the Covid fight at present, the state government also announced the addition of another nearly 350 beds for treatment of Covid patients in the existing set up of two private hospitals.

This comes when pipeline supply of oxygen has already been made possible in 105 hospitals up to the sub-divisional level with upgradation of necessary infrastructure in the past few months and oxygen gas pipeline will be laid in another 41 hospitals by May 15.

It has been decided to set up another 55 Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Medical Oxygen Generation plants in different hospitals across the state. Already three out of the previous five sanctioned ones, have been set up at Cooch Behar, Alipurduar and Diamond Harbour.

The state government has also requested private hospitals to set up their respective PSA plants to increase the supply of liquid medical oxygen.

The proactive steps have been taken as "zero tolerance" measures towards an adequate supply of oxygen when 497 MT of the same is produced in the state every day and the requirement is only 223 MT. Despite objection by the state government in such a situation, oxygen is being supplied from Bengal to some states, including Uttar Pradesh.

As many as 16,403 people have got infected with Covid and it has claimed 73 lives in the past 24 hours. A decision has also been taken to set up a Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) tank on an immediate basis at medical colleges and major hospitals.

The notification further states that the chiefs of all state-run medical colleges, state general hospitals, super-speciality hospitals and sub-divisional hospitals can collect oxygen as per the CMS regulations and follow the state Finance department's guidelines. This has been done by withdrawing the restrictions on the area based supply system. They can also take up decisions on the expansion of gas pipelines of their own henceforth.

The Apollo Hospital has also assured the state government of adding another 300 more Covid beds in the next few days. Narayana Hrudayalaya Group would also add another 35 beds soon by utilising its vacant floors in the Netralaya facilities at Salt Lake.

This comes when the state government directed the private hospitals to keep 60 per cent beds of the total capacity for Covid treatment and to increase the number of beds even by using the parking lot and banquets.

Sources said the state government has also urged the Centre requesting, if possible, to vacate the places where the Central forces — who are continuing to stay for post-poll purposes — in such a situation. The infrastructures could be used for different purposes to battle Covid.

A 112-bed Covid treatment facility, including 32 HDUs are going to start at the new building of Dr R Ahmed Dental College and Hospital. The facility will be looked after by doctors from NRS Medical College and Hospital. There is also a plan to set up Covid treatment facilities at Amri Mukundapur and Dhakuria.

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