The West Bengal government plans to set up 55 oxygen plants at state-run hospitals treating COVID-19 patients as many of them are succumbing to the virus due to a lack of oxygen.
The daily COVID-19 cases in West Bengal have shot up 75 times since February 26 when the Election Commission announced the state polls. On Tuesday, the state registered 16,403 new cases, up from 216 on February 26.
“We are ramping up infrastructure and even rationing our resources. We have around 12,500 beds with an around-the-clock oxygen supply in 105 state-run hospitals up to the sub-divisional level. Until May 15, another 3,000 such beds in at least 41 hospitals would be added,” said a health department official.
A second official said industries have been asked to convert their argon and nitrogen tankers into oxygen tankers. “The state is purchasing 5,000 cylinders of industrial oxygen. The state health department has been asked to buy cylinders with 200-litre capacities as many as possible while oxygen production units have been asked to double their production."
Meanwhile, Bengal's COVID-19 tally jumps to 7,93,552 with record 17,207 fresh cases, highest single-day deaths of 77 patients push toll to 11,159.