Washington, May 25 (PTI) An Indian American non-profit body on Tuesday announced plans to build 100 oxygen generation plants in India to enhance the country's capacity to face the COVID-19 crisis.
The first 15 plants, for which orders have been placed, will be set up in the next 90 days at an estimated cost of USD 1.6 million, Sewa International USA said.
Sewa International has raised a record more than USD 20 million in funds for its COVID-19 assistance in India. Last year, it carried out similar relief work when COVID-19 was at its peak in the US. It has been recognised by both the federal and state governments for the work it has done.
“Based on our reading of the current situation, Sewa International has made a strategic decision to establish oxygen generating plants in India to enhance India’s capacity to face the present COVID-19 crisis. This will also make India future-ready to face a possible third wave of the pandemic,” said Arun Kankani, president of Sewa International.
Sewa said it has identified three vendors from India to supply machinery required to build these plants. The first 15 plants will be a mix of 250 LPM and 500 LPM capacity and each can support about 20 to 40 ICU beds.
Sewa International is working with forty to fifty hospitals across India to establish these plants. The number of hospitals is expected to grow to more than 100 depending on support from donors.
Simultaneously, it has started a fundraising campaign to construct these oxygen plants. A donation of USD 61,000, USD 81,000 or USD 121,000 can help establish one such oxygen plant of a desired size, a media release said.
The campaign will help distribute oxygen generation capability equitably to different parts of the country bridging the urban and rural divide in India’s healthcare sector, it added.
India’s daily production capacity of oxygen is 7127 MT per day, and 46 per cent of which is for industrial consumption and 3842 MT is used for medical consumption.
Medical consumption is expected to increase to about 6,000 to 7,000 MT per day going forward with the current trajectory of COVID cases and any potential third wave of the pandemic. The more than 100 oxygen generation plants that Sewa International is planning to set up with the help of donors is going to help rural and semi-urban India prepare to face future challenges more confidently, the statement said.
For the past several weeks, India has been struggling with a second wave of the pandemic. Hospitals in the country are reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds.
The daily count of coronavirus cases in the country fell below the 2-lakh mark after over a month taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 2,69,48,874, while the death toll rose to 3,07,231, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday. PTI LKJ AMS