Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra on Wednesday said that 1,222 Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen generation plants sanctioned under the PM-CARES fund are likely to be become operational before August 15.
Addressing a real estate conference organised by industry body CII, the secretary said the property sector suffered a setback because of the COVID pandemic.
Mishra said the second wave has been almost controlled and now there are talks and apprehensions about a possible third wave.
The government took several measures to control the spread of the first COVID wave last year, including imposing the nationwide lockdown in March 2020, he added.
Mishra noted that the country did not have enough ventilators, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) kits and medicines required to deal with this pandemic when it hit India in March last year.
However, it was remarkable the way the pandemic was managed during the first wave, he said, adding that India not only met domestic demand but also provided medical supplies to other nations.
Talking about the second wave in April 2021, he said the number of infections reached four lakh per day compared to around one lakh daily cases during the first wave.
“There was a shortage of oxygen supplies. But the way the country addressed it was remarkable,” he said.
To boost oxygen supplies, he said oxygen express trains were run and services of airforce were utilised.
While noting that the industry also geared up to boost oxygen production capacities, Mishra said, “we have been able to control this big second wave within three months”.
On the preparedness for future waves, the secretary said that 1,222 PSA plants have been sanctioned under the PM-CARES fund.
“We are making efforts to make all these PSA plants operational before August 15,” he said.
He said around 300 PSA plants are already operational.
Based on requests from States and Union Territories, a total of 1,222 PSA plants have been sanctioned under the PM-Cares fund.
Last month, the secretary said recent experience with the COVID pandemic has shown the importance of ensuring adequate availability of oxygen in hospitals.
He had said that installation of PSA plants in various healthcare facilities would help avoid disruption of oxygen supplies, reduce dependence on LMO (Liquid Medical Oxygen) storage and supply of cylinders or tanks. Business Standard