As the demand for beds with oxygen lines are increasing across the state due to the increasing COVID-19 cases, Tamil Naduâ€™s Public Works Department (PWD) has embarked on a project to provide oxygen pipelines for additional 12,370 beds across the state. Of the total, 2,895 beds with oxygen lines will be set up in Chennai, which has the highest district-wise tally in terms of maximum number of infections. The additional facilities would be created at all the government medical college hospitals, district headquarters and taluk hospitals across the state.
"In order to cater to the increasing demand for beds with oxygen lines, the Public Works Department has commenced the work to provide additional 12,370 beds with oxygen connections in all governmental hospitals," a PWD release here said on Tuesday. The move will not only help to cope up with the second wave of coronavirus this year but also provide quality medicare to the infected, it noted.
The work is underway to provide 2,895 beds with oxygen lines in Chennai this year, including 550 for the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. These are being created on war footing, the release added. Further, oxygen beds are being created in other districts including Chengalpattu, Kanchipuram, Tiruvallur, Madurai and Trichy.
In March last year, the PWD established 27,806 beds at 138 government hospitals across Tamil Nadu, including intensive care units at an estimated cost of Rs 282.51 crore. This included 21,692 beds with oxygen lines in the state and 2,912 beds with oxygen connections for Chennai.
"The PWD is expeditiously providing all the infrastructure required to overcome the crisis in consultation with the health officers, district collectors and PWD engineers in each district on a daily basis," it said.
Recently, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan had said 40% of the beds at government hospitals were vacant, and that it had tied up with private medical college hospitals in Chennai suburbs, to accommodate the virus-infected patients. Chief Minister K Palaniswami consented to add 2,400 oxygen beds at all medical college hospitals in Chennai. Oxygen beds at maternity hospitals, such as Government RSRM Hospital and the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, would also be made available, he said.