Chief minister Hemant Soren launched seven new oxygen plants that have been set up in five districts with support from Path, a global agency working in the field of augmenting oxygen support, on Wednesday via a virtual ceremony.
While state health minister Banna Gupta logged in from Jamshedpur, health officials were also a part of the launch.
Hemant said that the addition of the new PSA (pressure swing absorption) oxygen plants was a part of the state government's efforts to improve facilities to tackle Covid-19.
“Since the outbreak of Covid-19, we have been working round-the-clock to upgrade facilities. We have come a long way, having now established labs, increased hospital capacity by adding beds," he said, adding that his government would continue to upgrade medical services to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
The seven new plants have come up in Ranchi, East Singbhum, Deoghar, Ramgarh and Seraikela-Kharsawan and have a total capacity of around 5,000 LPM (liquid per minute). Of the seven plants, two are in Ranchi, one is in Jamshedpur and Ramgarh each. The rest are in Deoghar, Chakulia (East Singbhum) and Seraikela-Kharsawan.
Health minister Gupta said that the new plants were in addition to the 93 others set up earlier. “During the second wave of Covid-19, Jharkhand supplied oxygen to the entire nation. Since then, we also started work to ensure uninterrupted supply at our hospitals by setting up oxygen plants to attend to any kind of exigency in the coming days,” he said.
Neeraj Jain, country director of Path, maintained that compared to other states, Jharkhand was always a step ahead in planning to combat Covid-19. Citing an example, he said, “In June last year, the state’s oxygen capacity was 9.8 metric tones/day which today stands at 196 MT/day. That speaks volumes about the pace of work here.”
Abhijit Sinha, Jharkhand head of Path, maintained that they were working on installing 38 medical oxygen plants in the state. “This apart, we are working to set up an oxygen dashboard to track real-time data (availability and supply). We will also provide technical assistance for proper functioning of the PSA plants,” he said.