In an attempt to meet the unprecedented demand of medical oxygen amid an exponential surge in Covid-19 cases in the twin-city, the health department of the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has finally rolled up its sleeves to install its own oxygen manufacturing plant in Bhayandar.
The civic administration will replicate the Pressure Swing Absorption Technology (PSA) technology which has been successfully adopted by the district authorities of Gadhinglaj town in Kolhapur district and other parts of the state and country to generate oxygen directly from atmospheric air.
Local legislator Geeta Jain had been following up on the issue and had also written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray highlighting the alarming upward trend in the coronagraph of the twin-city which had led to shortage of much-needed Remdesivir injections and medical-grade oxygen which was causing inconvenience and disruption in treatment.
Jain had stressed upon the need of the PSA technology to resolve the acute crisis of oxygen faced by almost all public and private health care facilities which were involved in treating Covid-19 patients in the twin-city. As per MBMC's nodal officer, the plant which carries an approximate price tag of around Rs. 80 lakh will be installed on the premises of the Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Hospital which is a dedicated Covid-19 treating facility in Bhayandar (west). The plant will have a capacity to manufacture around 200 cylinders of medical oxygen on a daily basis. If everything goes as per schedule, the unit can become operational within 45 to 50 days.
As of now the MBMC has 225 oxygen beds and needs at least one tanker everyday to ensure uninterrupted supply. However, the acute shortage has created a cloud of uncertainty in the timely supply of the much-needed medical oxygen which has become a vital facility to save critically ill patients.
Once operational, the plant will not only eliminate the hospitals' complete dependence on oxygen refilling companies for cylinders and tankers, it will become a personal asset of the MBMC to treat Covid-19 patients and also for other cases of respiratory illness in future.
Involving a simple technology, the PSA plants can separate and purify oxygen generated from the environment and provide it to patients. Apart from Kolhapur, the PSA system is being set up in Jalna district and also in Nagpur.