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7 oxygen plants in the works, Nuh readies for next Covid wave

Gurugram Seven oxygen plants will be set up in Nuh district in the next two months to ensure hospitals have adequate supply to take care of patients who are otherwise forced to travel to other districts and states for Covid-19 treatment
PUBLISHED ON MAY 28, 2021 07:52 PM IST

Gurugram Seven oxygen plants will be set up in Nuh district in the next two months to ensure hospitals have adequate supply to take care of patients who are otherwise forced to travel to other districts and states for Covid-19 treatment. One plant has started operations while another is scheduled to begin generating oxygen from June 1, said officials on Thursday.

Located 60 kilometres to the south of Gurugram, Nuh has reported 4,811 positive cases, with 132 patients in home isolation and 143 undergoing treatment in hospitals currently .

Nuh deputy commissioner Dhirendra Khadgata said that oxygen plants of 1,000 litres per minute (LPM) and 500 LPM capacities are being set up in Nalhar Medical College and Mandikheda Hospital in collaboration with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). While another oxygen plant has already been started by in Mandikheda, two others will be set up in community health centres (CHCs) in Tauru and Nuh. Two more plants will be set up in Shaheed Hasan Khan Mewati Government Medical College in Nalhar with the help of Indian Institute of Technology ( IIT) Kanpur, using corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds under Mission Bharat O2 which aims to develop indigenous solutions for solving India’s oxygen crisis amid the deadly second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A senior official said that setting up a medical oxygen plant designed for a flow rate of 1,000 litres per minute (LPM) costs nearly 2 crore and a 500 LPM cost 1 crore.

“The two plants coming up in CHCs in Tauru and Nuh, which will be readied through CSR, will have capacities of 500 LPM,” said Khadgata, adding that preparations to deal with the challenges ahead are underway so that they can reduce the dependence on oxygen from outside in the future.

Khadgata said the seven plants, once operational, will cater to over 1,100 patients requiring oxygen beds. “We are now well prepared for a probable third wave. With these upcoming oxygen plants, we will be able to generate 3,650 LPM of oxygen in the district and will not be dependent on other sources,” he said.

While the oxygen plants will be able to fill over than 500 cylinders per day, officials said these will be set up within the hospital premises to reduce the dependence on oxygen cylinders, as the plants will supply oxygen directly through pipeline to the beds. It will also help in reducing the time and cost involved in arranging the logistics of bringing oxygen from Palwal and Faridabad, said officials.

Khadgata said the demand for medical oxygen went up by five times due to the surge in Covid-19 cases. “Installation of the in-house infrastructure by Covid facilities will go a long way in reducing the dependence on outside sources for medical oxygen, if a similar situation arises the in future,” he said.

The central oxygen gas pipelines in Nalhar and Mandikhera are being laid by NHAI and the work is likely to get over by the end of this month, said officials.

Khadgata said currently they have 279 oxygen beds in the district which will be increased to 1,300 by July end.”We have 196 oxygen beds in Nalhar medical college which will be increased to 450 with 80 ICU beds. Similarly, we have 35 oxygen beds in Mandekhera which will be increased to 100 with six ICUs. 100 oxygen beds will be ready in CHC Nuh and CHCTauru with 10 ICU beds,” he said.

With 250 oxygen concentrators, portable beds are also available in the district, said officials.

Presently 60% of patients admitted in Nuh are from Palwal and Alwar in Rajasthan due to lack of facilities in their areas.

“Currently, Nuh’s positivity rate is 1.6%. In the past week, the cumulative rate was 1.74% , the lowest in the 22 districts of Haryana,” said Khadgata, adding that the district’s recovery rate (95.07%) and contact tracing (20%) is highest in the 22 districts. The fatality is also the lowest with only 95 deaths reported so far.

Meanwhile, all suspected Covid cases are sent to village isolation centres for observation and further testing. Around 74,424 people above the age of 45 have been vaccinated so far.

Khadgata said until Thursday, 261,804 samples have been collected out of which 253,691 people have tested negative. Results of 2,364 samples are awaited.

Suresh Kumar, NHAI project director, said the two plants will be functional next month and together they will generate 1.5 ton of oxygen which will cater to 50 Covid patients. “With this the beds will be increased and nearby districts will benefit,” he said.

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