Amid COVID-19 second wave, an oxygen bus to help patients in Tamil Nadu’s Tirupur

The Young Indians, a youth arm of CII, has set up a bus with five oxygen beds in Tirupur, to help those in need until they find a bed.
Oxygen concentrator
Oxygen concentrator
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Those waiting for oxygen support in front of the District Government Hospital in Tirupur will now have an alternate system, thanks to a bunch of volunteers from Young Indians. The Young Indians, the youth arm of CII, has set up a bus with five oxygen beds in Tamil Nadu’s Tirupur to help those in desperate need of external oxygen support until they find a bed. The bus, originally owned by Shiva Niketan school in Tirupur, has five beds for those in need of oxygen and was flagged off by the District Collector of Tirupur on Friday. Speaking to TNM, Pranav Sai V, the Chairman of the CII chapter of Young Indians said that the bus will be stationed near the government hospital.

“In Tirupur, we have a lot of migrant labourers, who are essentially a floating population. We thought they would definitely start panicking for oxygen if the situation arises,” Pranav told TNM adding that their regular collaborator Sakthi Nursing Home in Tirupur was the one that broached the idea of setting up oxygen beds inside a bus.

Once the ball was set rolling, the Young Indians team consisting of Iranthar Kumar, Padmanabhan and Mohan put out feelers to arrange buses to set the facility up. “Shiva Niketan school offered to give us a bus to try this out. A past chairman of CII helped us import five oxygen concentrators and fix them in this school bus. It is basically a five-seater. The motive is to provide temporary oxygen to people as they wait to get admitted in hospitals,” Pranav explained and added that the team also worked closely with Tirupur Riders. Though there is no rigid time limit for patients to be inside the bus on oxygen, he added that one-time replenishment of the cylinders will last for around 45 minutes.

"This will give people who are badly in need of oxygen some respite until they find beds. Moreover, we have a lot of buses free, like those owned and operated by export garment units are all idle now. The only issue we are facing now is the lack of oxygen cylinders. So we are trying to procure more cylinders. Many are coming forward to contribute money to procure oxygen concentrators. Several people also buy the concentrators themselves and donate them to us," he added. The team now has five oxygen concentrators and eight cylinders. The current set of oxygen concentrators is donated by businessman-philanthropist Majestic Krishnan.

When asked more about the oxygen-fitted bus, Pranav said that it will be stationed near the government hospital in Tirupur. “That's where the footfall is high and you find people from middle and low-income groups who cannot otherwise afford to get oxygen support other than in GH. This is completely free of cost. We have also roped in two nurses to provide any support needed in the bus to the patients,” he said. Patients coming to GH will have to show their medical reports to the nurse on duty in the bus, who will then assess the patients’ need for oxygen.

Donors interested in supporting this initiative can make contributions via Google Pay at 9894130000 (Padmanabhan, Project coordinator).

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