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HC directs State to ensure O2 plants functional at govt hospitals

The High Court of Bombay at Goa on Wednesday directed the State government to ensure that PSA (Pressure Swing Absorption) Plants are functional at government hospitals.

During the hearing of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on COVID-19 management, the petitioners brought to the notice of the court that seven out of eight PSA oxygen plants were non functional owing to non availability of pressure gauge. Advocate General Devidas Pangam denied the petitioner’s submission claiming that nine PSA plants are functional except for the one installed at Sub District Hospital at Chicalim as the work is underway.

Advocate Nikhil Pai, counsel for the petitioners, pointed out to the minutes of the meeting of the State Task Force held on January 3, 2022 which submitted that 7 out of 8 PSA oxygen plants are non-functional due to non-availability of pressure gauge. “This is a serious matter because, the pandemic is still on and the supply of oxygen if and when necessary is a serious issue,” he said.

The AG countered the claim stating that presently, there are nine PSA plants installed in the public Health Services in the State and all are presently functional, except at SDH Chicalim. He further informed the Division Bench of Justice M S Sonak and Justice R N Ladda that the PSA plant at Chicalim is commissioned and there are 25 oxygen ports (beds) presently available, out of the total capacity of 70 oxygen ports (beds).

“The work to connect the balance oxygen ports (beds) is in progress and the same will be completed very soon,” the AG said, as he placed on record the email sent by Dr Ira Almeida, Director/Nodal Officer (NHM), Directorate of Health Services, confirming the position.

The High Court while accepting the statement of the Advocate General, directed that effective care should be taken to ensure that the PSA plants are functional, so that there are no issues about supply of oxygen in the government hospitals.

Thereafter, the court was once again taken to the minutes of the State Task Force Meeting that pointed out an issue of liquefied medical oxygen (LMO) storage because of non-payment of dues to the suppliers. It was apprehended that it could again result in the precious lives being lost.

The AG submitted that the payments have already been made and the LMO storage facility is functional. He submitted that necessary instructions have been issued to ensure that there is adequate supply of oxygen at the LMO storage facilities and further, that such facilities are functional. The court accepted the statement of the AG.

The High Court has posted these matters to March 7, 2022. Herald Goa

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