The first of the 123 oxygen generation plants in the state was installed at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), an autonomous medical institution of the government of Bihar, in Patna on Sunday.
Each of the 36 district hospitals in the state will have at least one such oxygen generation plant, said Bihar health minister Mangal Pandey. The remaining 122 oxygen plants will be put in place by August 30, he added.
The oxygen generation plant at IGIMS marked the beginning of the state’s preparedness for oxygen in anticipation of the third wave of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), added Pandey.
The pressure swing adsorption (PSA) plant will generate 233 litres per minute oxygen, said Ravi Shankar Prasad, Patna’s MP and a former Union minister, who was present at the inaugural ceremony, along with Pandey.
The plant will cater to refilling around 50 D-type oxygen cylinders, each containing around 47 litres of oxygen, in a day, added Prasad.
In addition, two cryogenic liquid medical oxygen (LMO) tanks, each of 20 kilo litres, will also be set up at the institute. One such tank, which will cater to 50% oxygen requirement at the ICU, will be installed by the end of this month, said health minister Pandey.
The minister said the foundation stone laying ceremony for the 1,200-bedded hospital at the IGIMS will be done soon, depending on the availability of chief minister Nitish Kumar.
IGIMS director Dr NR Biswas said the institute will strive to make itself self-reliant in terms of availability of medical oxygen before the onset of the third wave of the pandemic.
IGIMS medical superintendent Dr Manish Mandal said both Covid-19 and non-Covid patients, requiring oxygen support, will benefit once oxygen is available through internal resources at the institute.