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Bridging the oxygen shortage gap, the ‘Doctors for You’ way

KR Srivats New Delhi | Updated on May 03, 2021

CWG village in Delhi has become the first Covid-19 centre with its own oxygen plant at the CWG complex, in New Delhi   -  Kamal Narang

Delhi’s CWG Covid Care Centre becomes the first centre to have its own oxygen plant installed

With Delhi city still grappling the acute medical oxygen shortage, Covid-19 care centres themselves are taking the initiative to augment capacity, albeit in a small way. The first such facility which has done this is the one at Delhi’s Commonwealth Games (CWG) village, where a new plant with 1,500 litre per day capacity has come up.

This oxygen plant can supply uninterrupted oxygen to 15 beds at a time and has become functional from Monday, Rajat Jain, President of ‘Doctors for you’, a NGO that installed this oxygen plant, told BusinessLine. Set up with direct funding from HCL Foundation, several parts that went into this oxygen plant came from France he said.

Currently, the CWG Covid care centre has 500 beds and oxygen facility is currently available at 170 beds, which have all been taken. So this new oxygen plant could augment oxygen supplies for 15 more beds, explained Jain.

“We have created a pipeline from our new oxygen plant so that continuous supply can happen to the 15 beds. This is a small plant. If we get more support, we can even have larger oxygen plant”, he said.

In days to come, plans are afoot to increase the oxygen capacity so as to service all the 500 beds, he said. ‘Doctors for You’ has been working in disaster areas for last 13 years. “We have experience in setting up field hospitals. Normally disasters are in small scale and limited to a particular area. But this is a pandemic that is beyond the capacity of anybody. The district administration is also trying its best. But, there is a scarcity of medical oxygen that is beyond them also. We realised that we also have to add to their efforts and so we decided to do this. Given the pandemic, everybody has to do their bit”, Jain said.

‘Doctors for You’ — with four centres in Delhi, two in Noida and five in Bengaluru — has always been focused on bridging the gap and working with the government, he said.

We are also trying to set up bigger plants which can cater to 100 beds at a time. We are trying to collect funds for that”, he said.

Meanwhile, several hospitals have gone about augmenting their oxygen capacity on their own efforts. For instance, Dharamashilla Narayana Superspeciality hospital had on Sunday within 12 hours of the landing up of oxygen generator in the hospital premises operationalised it. The oxygen generator landed in Delhi from France on Sunday.

Things are still in a difficult situation on the oxygen supply front for hospitals in Delhi, several of whom sent desperate SOS calls to the authorities to replenish their dwindling stocks. One healthcare facility even told the government that it may have to shift out its patients due to lack of oxygen.

On Saturday, South Delhi’s Batra Hospitals saw 12 patients and a senior doctor die after the facility ran out of medical oxygen for about 80 minutes in the afternoon. Less than two weeks back, as many as 25 people at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital lost their lives amid the oxygen shortage in the capital.

Published on May 03, 2021

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