The Uttar Pradesh government, to prevent a repeat of the oxygen crisis faced during the second wave of Covid-19, has resolved to make the state “atma nirbhar” (self-reliant) in the production of medical oxygen.
In this regard, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had sanctioned 548 oxygen plants, out of which nearly 518 oxygen plants, that is over 90 per cent, have been made fully functional by November end.
Lucknow To Become Self-Reliant In Oxygen Production
In capital Lucknow, 28 government hospitals are being equipped with oxygen plants to nullify all possibilities of lack of oxygen ahead of the anticipated third wave and the immediate scare of the new Omicron variant.
Out of these, oxygen plants in 18 hospitals have become functional and work in the remaining 10 hospitals is in the final stages. All these plants are capable of producing 15,238 litres of oxygen per minute.
As per Chief Development Officer (CDO) Ashwini Pandey, all oxygen plants will become fully functional within a week.
According to Professor Manindra Agrawal of IIT Kanpur, a mild third wave of the coronavirus, driven by the Omicron variant, could hit India between January and February next year.
“Oxygen plants in government hospitals are ready now. Their capacity can be enhanced further, if need be. Oxygen plants are also being set up in private hospitals. The development of the same in private hospitals will be evaluated soon,” informed Abhishek Prakash, District Magistrate (DM), Lucknow.
Due to a sudden surge in the number of Covid-19 patients during the second wave, the situation went out of hand and the state suffered an unprecedented shortage of medical oxygen, which proved fatal in most cases.
In the months of April-May, when the corona infection was at its peak, the oxygen demand had reached 50,000-60,000 tonnes, but the state failed to maintain supply.
Consequently, the state government had to arrange for oxygen from other states, which too were struggling to keep up with the caseload throughout the country.
In the event of a third wave, Uttar Pradesh, in general, and Lucknow in particular, seems well-prepared to face a crisis if it crops up.
A Collective Effort
To establish the oxygen plants in the state government hospitals, funds have been rooted from PM Cares Fund, MLA and MPLAD funds. More help has come from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) , and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) funds.
As per a report published in Dainik Jagran (Lucknow Edition), many BJP legislators, including Lucknow MP Rajnath Singh, contributed from their MPs and MLAD funds for the effort.
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