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Kashmir Generates 23500 lpm Oxygen, Installed 20 Plants Already

SRINAGAR: After the onset of the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, the hospitals associated with Covid-care in Kashmir have witnessed a steep rise in the requirement of medical oxygen as more patients who have tested Covid-19 positive are turning up to the hospitals after their saturation level decreases in home isolation, according to a statement issued by the Jammu and Kashmir government.

A long line of attendants queued up to get a oxygen cylinder in the SMHS premises. The hospital’s in house oxygen manufacturing is overloaded forcing it to purchase from industry. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

Insisting that the oxygen supply may be in the shape of liquid medical oxygen, cylinders or in the form of Captive PSA Medical Oxygen generation, Chief Engineer, Mechanical Engineering Department Kashmir, Rashid Ahmad said: “We have an issue regarding supply of liquid medical oxygen here due the logistics involved which would be cumbersome to procure from outside the state on a consistent and reliable basis.”

For cylinders, he said in Kashmir there are four industrial units for refilling and bottling but that is insufficient.

Rashid said following the 2nd wave of Covid-19 Pandemic there has been a steep rise in the requirement of medical Oxygen in hospitals and the position of oxygen has become better as the department has remained quite prepared.

Giving details about the Oxygen generation capacity of Kashmir, the Chief Engineer said that prior to 2nd wave of Covid-19 our hospitals would generate 8000 litres of oxygen per minute, but as on date, we have further installed 20 plants in different district hospitals and GMC associated hospitals in Srinagar, Baramulla and Anantnag districts.

Rashid said this time the bulk oxygen that is being supplied to the hospitals is being done through these PSA based plants and the production of oxygen exceeds 23500 lpm (litres per minute).

“If we talk in terms of per capita, patient and population-wise, this much of Oxygen generation capacity is sufficient” Rashid added.

The Chief Engineer said that with the support of 2100-2300 bulk cylinders from Industrial units and together with Captive PSA based Oxygen generation, the situation is normal in hospitals, patients are getting a good supply of Oxygen.

“The position of oxygen has become better as we were prepared to deal with it and we had fixed our contracts in time, we had made an order for 37 plants in October-November, the bulk of this order has already arrived and we have so far installed 20 plants and 17 plants are in the offing,” he said.

He informed that the PSA Oxygen generator of these plants come from Germany, this time also 09 plants are in transit and ready for shipment for airlifting. “Due to the Covid there is an embargo in Air Cargo, so our UT government has directly talked to the Civil Aviation ministry about the lifting of 09 plants from Frankfurt, Germany and the same shall be done on 16th of May and it may take another couple of days for it to reach here” Rashid added.

“Following the installation of these 09 more plants our position shall be improved further and there shall remain no dearth of oxygen” he assured.

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