Updated: May 17, 2021 7:12:33 am
A temporary Covid-19 treatment centre with 1,500 oxygen beds, billed as one of the largest such facilities in the country, has come up in Kochi after the district administration joined hands with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL).
The temporary Covid-19 hospital was erected at a school run by BPCL at the premises of its plant at Ambalamugal in Kochi. The first phase of the facility was made functional on Sunday, under which 100 beds were made operational.
The highlight of the centre is that the BPCL Kochi refinery is directly supplying oxygen from its plant to the beds through a dedicated 1-km stainless steel pipeline. The refinery has the capacity to generate 12 tonnes of gaseous oxygen per day.
Kochi refinery executive director Sanjay Khanna said this is the first time in the country that a hospital with 1,500 oxygen beds has been built with direct supply from an oxygen plant. Apart from oxygen, BPCL is also supplying power and water free of cost to the Covid-19 treatment centre, he said.
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He said BPCL is also setting up oxygen plants at government hospitals in Kerala, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Additionally, a bottling compressor is also being set up at the refinery which will help in oxygen supply through cylinders also.
Ernakulam District Collector S Suhas said that the hospital with direct oxygen supply would help overcome the hiccups in transporting gaseous oxygen. The Kerala Health Department would deploy 480 staff, including 130 doctors and 240 nurses. Private hospitals would also support the initiative, he said.
He said patients in critical stage, (in C category) would be admitted to the make-shift hospital. Within five days, the number of oxygen beds would be increased to 500 and in a week to 1500. This hospital is going to be a unique attempt in the country’s fight against the pandemic, he said.
National Health Mission Ernakulam district programme manager Dr Mathews Nampeli said the direct supply of oxygen from a plant to the hospital beds would help overcome oxygen shortage. “In the past, our hospitals required refilling of oxygen supply once in 15 days. After Covid-19 cases spiked, on every alternative day, hospitals are demanding a refill of cylinders. The direct supply of gaseous oxygen can help overcome all logistic issues related to the supply and conversion of liquid oxygen to gaseous,” he said.
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