India gifts medical oxygen plant to Nepal
India on Thursday donated a medical oxygen plant to Nepal as part of New Delhi's continued commitment to the Himalayan nation in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
India's Ambassador here Vinay Mohan Kwatra handed over the 960 Litres Per Minute (LPM) medical oxygen plant to Minister of State for Health Umesh Shrestha at a ceremony at the Ministry of Health and Population, as part of India's robust partnership with Nepal in tackling the coronavirus pandemic, the Indian Embassy here said in a statement.
The plant has been installed at B P Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS), and is designed to cater to providing 5 LPM per person, amounting to a total capacity of 960 LPM, it said.
The DEBEL Medical Oxygen Plant, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), carries a capacity to serve 200 patients simultaneously, it said.
Kwatra highlighted the significance of the deep-rooted and multifaceted partnership between India and Nepal, reiterating that the gift symbolised India's continued commitment to Nepal in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the statement.
"The Government of India will continue to stand with Nepal and its people in fighting the pandemic and providing necessary assistance as best possible in accordance with our deep-rooted bilateral ties," he said.
Shrestha said that the donation of oxygen plant was a critical health infrastructure that would reinforce Nepal's efforts in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
The assistance by the Government of India two decades ago in building BPKIHS in Dharan was an important milestone, and the latest addition of the oxygen plant is another milestone that would go a long way in serving people of Nepal, particularly of Provinces 1 and 2, the minister said.
Oxygen is a key clinical gas for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, as has been experienced during the second wave of the pandemic in both India and Nepal.
With the plant, hospitals now have the option of generating medical oxygen on-site, in a highly cost-effective manner.
India is only the fourth country in the world to develop the technology which utilises the pressure swing adsorption technique and molecular sieve technology to generate oxygen directly from atmospheric air.
The installation of the medical oxygen plant would help in avoiding the dependency of hospitals for scarce oxygen cylinders, according to the statement.
This would help in reducing the logistics of transporting cylinders and also continuous and reliable oxygen supply available round the clock, it added.