Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed officials to ensure increased oxygen availability, including oxygen concentrators, cylinders and Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) plants to tackle any second COVID wave like eventuality.
Modi’s directions can be seen in the contest of reported shortage of oxygen cylinders and oxygen equipped beds that resulted in more COVID fatalities in the second COVID wave in April and May 2021.
Chairing the high level reviewing meeting on the current COVID situation with the Principal Secretary to PM, Cabinet Secretary, Principal Scientific Advisor, Health Secretary, Member Health NITI Aayog, Modi also stressed about the need for constant genome sequencing to monitor emergence of mutants.
According to the Prime Minister Office (PMO), the Prime Minister was apprised that INSACOG now consists of 28 labs distributed across the country. The lab network is also linked with a hospital network for clinical correlation.
“Efforts are also on to install 961 Liquid Medical Oxygen Storage Tanks and 1,450 Medical Gas Pipeline Systems with an aim to support at least one such unit per district,” said the PMO in a press release.
“The Ambulance network is also being augmented to ensure at least one ambulance per block. The PM also reviewed the status of PSA oxygen plants coming up across the country. PM was also updated that around 1 lakh oxygen concentrators and 3 lakh oxygen cylinders have been distributed to the states,” the PMO release read.
With the possibility of a third COVID wave affecting children, the Prime Minister also reviewed the status of augmentation of bed capacity for pediatric care and augmentation of facilities supported under ‘COVID Emergency Response Package II’.
The PMO stated that states have been advised to redesign and orient primary care and block level health infrastructure to manage the situation in rural areas.
The PMO further said that the PM was briefed about the increase in isolation beds, oxygen beds, ICU beds and paediatric ICUs and pediatric ventilators. A significant number of ICU beds and Oxygen beds will be further added in the coming months.