Equipment of oxygen plants being set up by DRDO at AIIMS

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has set up two oxygen plants in All India Institute of Medical Science Trauma Centre and Ram Manohar Lohia hospital in New Delhi as part of the plan to install five medical oxygen plants in Delhi and Haryana. The plants will start supplying oxygen to these facilities by Wednesday evening, the health ministry said. Around 500 such plants funded by the PM-Cares fund will be set up all across the country, the additional director, directorate of public interface said on Wednesday.

The oxygen plant has a flow rate of 1,000 litres per minute and can cater to 190 patients at a time, the additional director, directorate of public interface, DRDO said on Wednesday, reported ANI.

"This plant has a capacity of 1,000 litres of oxygen per minute and at a time it will cater to 190 patients. It is being set up in five hospitals in Delhi-NCR," ANI quoted the additional director as saying.

As the country battles the destructive second wave of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) with an acute scarcity of medical oxygen, the additional director ensured to complete the installation of plants in the next two-to-three days.

"In 2-3 days we'll complete the installation of plants in AIIMS (Jhajjar), RML, Safdarjung and Lady Hardinge Hospital. These plants are funded by PM-Cares fund & we'll set up 500 such plants across the country," ANI quoted the additional director as saying.

The ministry of defence on Tuesday said that the medical oxygen plant technology based on the on-board oxygen generation for light combat aircraft Tejas has been developed by the DRDO and will help overcome logistical issues of oxygen transportation for Covid-19 emergency.

As part of sustained efforts to combat Covid-19, the DRDO had earlier transported oxygen cylinders to Delhi and Hyderabad to boost the supply of life-saving gas. Each of those cylinders had the capacity to store 1,000 litres of oxygen. The organisation last month in collaboration with the Gujarat government also set up a 900-bed Covid-19 hospital in Ahmedabad.

Last month, AIIMS through a notice informed about the paucity of resources and staff that led the hospital to discontinue contact tracing of healthcare workers and quarantine of asymptomatic contacts. The hospital said that the healthcare workers with symptoms should only be tested.

The country on Wednesday found over 386,000 people infected with the fatal virus, according to the Union health ministry's dashboard. Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in its Epidemiology report said that the country accounted for over 46 per cent of new cases and a quarter of deaths in the past week, reported Reuters.