Ranchi, East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum and Bokaro to have three each
At least 38 pressure swing absorption (PSA) oxygen plants will be set up across the 24 districts of Jharkhand under the PM-Cares fund in a bid to ensure sufficient supply of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) to patients in need of breathing support either due to Covid-19 or any other ailment, health officials said on Tuesday.
This time around, the Centre has categorically mentioned in its communique to the state that the Jharkhand government will have to appoint at least two technical persons for each PSA plant and one nodal officer for the each of the hospitals benefitting from them in a bid to avert technical glitches, which earlier marred the Centre’s efforts of providing free ventilators to states under the PM-Cares fund. Several states, including Jharkhand, had complained about defunct ventilators and lack of assistance from the Centre in troubleshooting during the second wave of Covid-19 earlier this year.
“Each of the 24 districts will get at least one PSA plant under the PM-Cares fund in Jharkhand. We have received the final list from the Centre and the work for setting up the plants will begin soon,” said Dr Siddharth Tripathi, the nodal officer for Information, Education and Communication (IEC) wing of the health department.
The Centre, under its PM-Cares fund initiative, will be providing 1,215 PSA oxygen plants to states and Union territories across India and Jharkhand has been assured 38 plants under this scheme. As per details shared by the health department, at least three PSA plants each will be set up in Ranchi, East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum and Bokaro. Two each will come up in Dhanbad, Deoghar, Dumka, Giridih, Latehar and Hazaribagh, while one PSA plant will be set up in each of the remaining 14 districts in the state.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will ensure the site preparation and installation of at least 29 of the 38 PSA plants, while the Central Medical Services Society (CMSS) and HLL Infra Services Limited (HITES) will work for the site preparation and installation of four and five PSA plants respectively.
Nodal officers and technical staff appointed for the PSA plants will undergo special training conducted by the Centre and work as point persons for the PSA monitoring system of the Centre, officials said. The plants will only start functioning after a clearance from nodal officers and technical persons appointed for the task, officials said, adding that this practice would help in troubleshooting. The PSA monitoring team of the Centre will directly be in touch with the point persons for the different PSA plants.
Several states, including Jharkhand, faced an acute crisis of medical oxygen during the second wave of Covid-19, which wreaked havoc across India. Lack of logistics emerged as one of the greatest challenges for the country for movement of oxygen from one state to another, and the delay in the process led to several deaths.