Three new oxygen plants to come up in Ladakh by May end



Leh: Three new oxygen plants will be commissioned in the Union Territory of Ladakh by the end of May to meet the needs of coronavirus patients.
This was stated at a meeting chaired by Lt Governor R K Mathur here on Saturday to review the preparedness of the health department for COVID-19 handling with detailed discussions on infrastructure, procurement of essential equipment and medicines, an official spokesman said.
The ‘Site Readiness Certificates’ of the three oxygen generating plants at Drass, Padum and Diskit has been approved by the central government and civil and mechanical works are going on at these sites, an official spokesman said on Sunday.
The oxygen plants would be dispatched by the supplier shortly and the plants will be commissioned by the end of May, 2021, Principal Secretary Health and Medical Education Pawan Kotwal said.
National Hydroelectric Power Corporation has also agreed to provide a 2×500 LPM oxygen plant for Kargil, while a plant of similar capacity is proposed to be set up at Leh to augment the oxygen generating capacity from the present 1000 LPM to 2000 LPM, the spokesman said.
The Lt Governor said Ladakh must be fully equipped with a complete set of facilities including hospital beds, oxygen supply, medicines and additional manpower.
He also asked the department to explore the feasibility of setting up special paediatric COVID wards keeping in view the availability of pediatricians in Ladakh for managing these facilities.
The meeting also deliberated upon achieving vaccination goals and imposing stricter restrictions with emphasis on COVID appropriate behaviour and intensifying RT-PCR tests to control the situation, the spokesman said.
Assessing the ongoing vaccination drive, Mathur said the department must ensure that the vulnerable and frontline populace in the 18-45 age categories must be prioritized for vaccination, while ensuring zero percentage of wastage.
Mathur said while all infrastructure is being put in place, stricter control on entrance into Ladakh must be ensured by both Deputy Commissioners (Leh and Kargil).
He also directed setting up of UT and District control rooms and for providing tele-medical consultation in Leh and Kargil districts, the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, Ladakh has recorded 156 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the overall tally to 15179, even as one more fatality related to the virus pushed the death toll to 153, officials said.
The total number of active cases in the Union Territory has reached 1412 with 1211 in Leh district and 201 in Kargil district, the officials said quoting a bulletin released by the Directorate of Health Services, Ladakh.
The new death was reported from Leh district on Saturday, the officials said, adding while 109 persons have died of the infection in Leh, the rest of 44 deaths have taken place in Kargil since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Of the new 156 cases reported during the past 24 hours, the officials said 140 were detected in Leh and 16 others in Kargil, the officials said.
They said a total of 143 patients 113 in Leh and 30 in Kargil — were also discharged after successful treatment, taking the number of those who have been cured of the virus to 13614, which accounted for 90 percent of the total cases.