DPSUs procuring oxygen generation plants under 'fast-track mode'

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New Delhi, Apr 25 (PTI) Several defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) are procuring oxygen generation plants under 'fast-track mode' to assist hospitals facing acute shortage of medical oxygen in view of surging cases of coronavirus, officials said on Sunday.

The move comes as India scrambles to shore up supplies of medical oxygen to hospitals in various states.

The DPSUs procuring oxygen generation plants include Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL), BEML Ltd, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) and Mishra Dhatu Nigam (MIDHANI).

The oxygen generation plants will be delivered to local government hospitals in different states, the officials said.

They said the DPSUs and Ordnance Factory Board are extending all possible assistance to the civil administrations across the country in dealing with the coronavirus crisis.

Listing their assistance, they said a 180-bed COVID care centre set up by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has become functional in Bengaluru.

The DPSU has also made ready a 250-bed facility in Bengaluru and handed it over to municipal authorities, they said.

'In this hour of crisis, they are catering to the civilian population from their existing services in coordination with the state governments, as directed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in recently held review meetings,' the Defence Ministry said.

A 70-bed facility in Koraput, Odisha, and a 40-bed hospital in Nasik have also been made operational, the officials said.

'Work has also been undertaken by HAL to set up a 250-bed COVID care facility in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. It is expected to be operational in the first week of May,' the ministry said.

Further, HAL is planning to provide more ventilators and oxygen supply at Bangalore and Lucknow.

The ministry said the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) is providing COVID care services, including oxygen beds, at their facilities in 25 places in Maharashtra, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Odisha and Uttarakhand.

'It has earmarked nearly 60 per cent of its existing strength for COVID-19 care. Precisely, 813 beds out of total strength of 1,405 are now reserved for COVID-19 patients,' it said.

India is struggling with a second wave of coronavirus infection and hospitals in several states are reeling under shortage of medical oxygen and beds in view of rising cases.

The country recorded over three lakh-plus coronavirus cases for the fourth straight day. PTI MPB AAR AAR