The health facilities in the Chitwan district have been working to expand the capacity of oxygen plants when the entire country including the district is struggling with a short supply of life-saving gas with the surging COVID-19 cases.
Two medical colleges and the Bharatpur Hospital have to seek help from oxygen industries to manage oxygen gas for the COVID-19 patients as the production from their plants is not enough to meet the current requirement.
The Old Medical College is expanding its Gaindakot-based oxygen plant. Hospital residential director Dr Manohar Pradhan said the hospital plant has the capacity of generating 400 cylinders of gas in 24 hours and its capacity is being increased to produce more than 200 cylinders. The hospital is preparing to see more production from this week. The medical college’s daily requirement is 300 cylinders.
Similarly, Chitwan Medical College has proceeded towards the operation of a new plant with a daily capacity of 600 cylinders. Hospital chair and managing director Dr Harish Chandra Neupane said they hoped to see the installation of plant equipment within a week. The present production by the hospital plant is around 200 cylinders in a day while the demand is double: around 400 cylinders.
Similarly, the Bharatpur Hospital is planning to add one more plant. Hospital Development Committee chair Dr Bhojraj Adhikari said they were assured of the allocation of Rs 120 million from the Ministry of Health and Population to set up a new plant. The hospital will proceed towards that end soon, according to him. The hospital’s present production is around 75 cylinders each day against the daily consumption of 200 cylinders. District Public Health Office, Chitwan chief Deepak Tiwari said the district-based hospital currently needed 1,200 cylinders while the total production is just 880. It means the district is facing a shortage of 320 cylinders daily amidst the raging COVID-19 pandemic.