The installation work for as many as six oxygen generation plants, for effectively tackling the second wave of the Covid-19 across Meghalaya, is expected to be completed by next week, an official said on Friday.
“There are six number of oxygen plants where installation is going on. We hope that all these plants will be up and running by the early part of next week," Director of Health Services (MI) Dr Aman War said.
Of them, three plants– at Shillong Civil hospital, Ganesh Das hospital and RP Chest TB hospital – have been sanctioned from the Centre’s PM-CARES fund.
The 600 litres per minute (LPM) oxygen plant at Shillong civil hospital will be airlifted from Delhi and reach the state capital on May 25, Dr War informed.
In the meantime, the government has arranged installation of six generators of 45 LPM each to tackle the need for oxygen at the hospital. These generators have been in function from last Monday, Dr War said.
“The six generators are catering to 25 COVID beds in the COVID wing of the Shillong civil hospital and that too on high flow which means a very high consumption of oxygen,” he said.
The piping work for the hospital has already been completed, he said adding that only the connection of the pipe from the generation plant to the manifold room was left to be done. After that, oxygen can be distributed accordingly to all the wards.
Further, the DHS also informed that another oxygen plant for the RP Chest TB hospital was arriving from Guwahati airport which had been airlifted from Delhi on Thursday.
“As soon as it reaches today, installation will start from tomorrow. Piping has already been done and we expect by early part of next week these machines will be up and running,” he said while adding that the plant at Ganesh Das hospital will also be up and running by Saturday.
The three other oxygen plants for Jowai, Tura and Nongpoh have been sanctioned by the UNDP.
The machines for Nongpoh and Jowai had reached the state and were being installated while for Tura, the machine was on the way and would reach anytime soon, Dr War said. “All these piping and everything are going on in full swing, they are working 24×7,” he said.
The government had also come up with two cryogenic oxygen plants that are to be set up at Umsawli, Shillong and Jengjal, Tura, the senior medical officer further informed.
"Work is going on in full swing for the 13 KL plant at Umsawli and we expect that this plant will be up and running by June 15 latest. The plant will be able to deliver 1,000 cylinder refilling capacity in a day," he said.
"In Jengjal, Tura another 20 KL plant is coming up and we expect it will be ready within 2 weeks time. Side preparation has already been done. Now we only have to do the civil works which are going on in full swing and it may come up earlier than the one in Shillong and this will cater to 2,000 cylinders per day," he added.
Dr War said the government expects that these plants will be sufficient to give continuous supply of oxygen to Khasi-Jaintia and Garo Hills regions of the state. Meanwhile, the DHS also informed that small 45 LPM plants will also be set up at the community health centres (CHCs) if the necessity arises.
"We have seen the 45 LPM plant within one hour we can set them up provided that we get the machines. If it is necessary then these other plants will also be set up," he said.