Covid-19 in India: PM CARES to fund 551 new PSA plants

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 25, 2021

File photo   -  The Hindu

Total number of active caseload in the country rises to 26,82,751

The Centre on Sunday approved setting up of an additional 551 Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen generation plans in public health facilities using PMCARES funds. 

A PSA plant works by absorbing nitrogen from ambient air and thus helps deliver concentrated oxygen for supply in hospitals. These plants, to be procured by the Health Ministry will be set up in identified government hospitals in district headquarters in various States and Union Territories, an official statement said. 

This will be in addition 162 PSA plants earlier approved at a cost of Rs 201.58 crore. 

The basic aim behind installing PSA plants at government hospitals is to further strengthen the public health system and ensure that each of these hospitals has a captive oxygen generation facility. Such an in-house captive oxygen generation facility would address the day-to-day medical oxygen needs of these hospitals. 

In addition, the liquid medical oxygen (LMO) would serve as a “top up” to the captive oxygen generation. Such a system will go a long way in ensuring that government hospitals in the districts do not face sudden disruption of oxygen supplies and have access to adequate uninterrupted oxygen supply to manage the Covid-19 patients and other patients needing such support, the statement said. 

Meanwhile, close to 3.5 lakh people tested positive to SARS-CoV2 virus during the last 24 hours, taking the total number of active caseload in the country to 26,82,751, according to data released by Health Ministry on Sunday morning. 

During the same period, over 25 lakh vaccinations carried out by the States and Union Territories, taking the cumulative number of Covid-19 inoculations in the country to over 14.09 crore. 

As many as 14 States and UTs reported more than 10,000 Covid-19 cases with Maharashtra leading with 67,160 daily cases. Uttar Pradesh with 37,944 cases, Karnataka with 29,438 cases and Kerala with 26,685 were among the other States reported high number of new Covid-19 cases. Other major Covid-impacted regions are Delhi (24,103), Chhattisgarh (16,631), Rajasthan (15,355), Tamil Nadu (14,842), West Bengal (14,281), Gujarat (14,097), Madhya Pradesh (12,918), Bihar (12,359), Andhra Pradesh (11,698) and Haryana (10,491). 

During the last 24 hours 2,767 people died of Covid-19, taking the total death toll since the beginning to 1,92,311. 

This happened on a day that the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed deep concern over the alarming second Covid-19 wave in India. In a tweet on early Sunday morning, Blinken said "Our hearts go out to the Indian people in the midst of the horrific Covid-19 outbreak. We are working closely with our partners in the Indian government and we will rapidly deploy additional support to the people of India and India's health care heroes." India has been urging the US to make available raw materials required for producing vaccines, which are essential for fighting Covid-19 pandemic. 

Jake Sullivan, the US National Security Adviser, on the other hand tweeted that the US was working around the clock to eploy more supplies and support to "our friends and partners in India as they bravely battle this pandemic." 

Vinod Kosla, India-born businessman in the US, said he is willing to fund hospitals in India that need funding to import bulkloads of oxygen or supplies into India. He urged the public hospitals and civil society movements to reach out to him for the same.

Published on April 25, 2021

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