Kerala is increasing its oxygen supply capacity to deal with a rise in COVID-19 cases. The latest hospital to add to its liquid medical oxygen supply infrastructure is the Kottayam Medical College hospital.
On May 1, Saturday, the Kottayam MCH will have a fully functional oxygen plant which can produce upto 2000 litres of medical oxygen per day. The Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) generator plant is designed to concentrate oxygen from ambient air at scale.
According to reports, the oxygen generated in the PSA plant will be administered to patients via copper pipelines connected to each bed in the Kottayam MCH. This will ensure that there is no supply chain failure while administering oxygen to both COVID-19 and non-COVID patients.
Before this, the hospital was reportedly procuring oxygen cylinders from a filling station in Kochi.
The plant at Kottayam has been installed with aid from the PM Cares Fund, and is one among five such plants that have not yet come up in Kerala‚Äôs Medical College hospitals - namely in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kannur (Pariyaram).
In October 2020, the Central Government floated tenders for 150 PSA oxygen generator plants to be set up across the country. These tenders were issued through the Central Medical Services Society (CMSS), an autonomous procurement agency under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The bids for five of these plants were won by the above mentioned medical colleges.
Six months after winning the bids, the Kottayam and Ernakulam Medical Colleges will be the first ones to start operating their plants. Speaking to TNM, a former nodal officer for COVID-19 in the Thrissur Medical College hospital also said that only the electrification work for the PSA plant was pending and that it would start working by May.
These 150 oxygen generator plants are expected to help India fight its oxygen crisis in the second wave of the COVID-19, by removing logistical barriers to supplying oxygen such as transporting oxygen to far off hospitals, and shortage of oxygen tanks.This as hospital can produce their own oxygen within the campus and supply it to patients.
However, in many states, these PSA plants are yet to be constructed.