16 oxygen plants at nine hospitals ready: BMC

Earlier, the city had just two plants— HBT Trauma Hospital at Jogeshwari (2.26 MT) and Kasturba Hospital (1.04 MT).

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which is trying to become self-sufficient in providing medical oxygen to patients, has said that the 16 oxygen generation plants at nine hospitals that will generate 41-42 metric tonnes of oxygen are ready and can be commissioned if the need arises.

As the construction of plants was mired in controversy over the delay, BMC said that the contractor will be penalised.

“There were some delays in the construction of these plants. But now, all 16 plants are ready. As per our plans to become self-sufficient, more oxygen generation plants are in the pipeline,” said P Velarasu, additional commissioner of BMC who is in charge of the project department.

In addition to the 16 plants, BMC through Corporate Social Responsibility funding has built seven PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) plants at civic-run Kasturba, Bhabha, Cooper and Nehru Centre in Worli, that together generate 6.93 metric tonnes of oxygen.

To be better prepared for a possible third wave of Covid-19, BMC had planned to increase its oxygen production capacity, which was 3.3 metric tonnes a day. The city had just two plants— HBT Trauma Hospital at Jogeshwari (2.26 MT) and Kasturba Hospital (1.04 MT).

On August 18, the standing committee of the BMC cleared a proposal of setting up of 11 oxygen plants at around 10 locations, including jumbo Covid hospitals in the city. According to the proposal, oxygen plants will be set up in locations such as Dahisar jumbo centre and BKC jumbo centre at an expenditure of Rs 204 crore.

In the second wave, the city’s daily oxygen demand was around 235 metric tonnes a day. The demand touched 260-270 metric tonnes in April this year, when over 10,000 patients needed oxygen support. On the night of April 17, the civic body had to shift 168 patients from six municipal hospitals to other centres due to lack of oxygen supply.

While a rise in daily cases has been registered over the last two weeks, there is no significant rise in patients requiring hospitalisation. On August 22, 950 patients required oxygen support, while on September 5 the number was 778. In six days, the number of patients who required oxygen support increased by 20.

As of September 11, 798 patients are admitted to oxygenated beds. As per data of September 11, 1,995 patients are admitted in Covid care facilities of whom 798 are on oxygenated beds, 587 on ICU and 409 on ventilator beds.

At present, 200MT of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) comes from suppliers Inox and Linde, who deliver to hospitals having 10-13 kilolitre tanks to store it. A refilling station is also coming up at Mahalaxmi, where up to 100 dura cylinders can be filled daily, said BMC.

Meanwhile, for the second day in the row, new Covid-19 cases detected in the city were below 400. On Sunday, 354 new Covid 19 cases were detected. However, in the last 24 hours, the lowest number of tests were also conducted in the last 15 days at 29,849. The daily positivity rate on Sunday was 1.19 per cent.

On Sunday, seven deaths related to Covid were recorded. According to the data, since August 27, daily Covid-19 deaths in Mumbai have been below five.

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