Amidst an unprecedented second wave of the Wuhan coronavirus, there is an acute shortage of oxygen across the country. At such a precarious time, some people have gone above their line of duty to help their countrymen fight off the Chinese virus. Gujarat’s Banas Dairy has set up an oxygen unit in a record 72 hours which can serve 35-40 patients/day.
In a positive development, Gujarat’s Banas Dairy has set up a 680-kg/day oxygen plant which has the capability to serve 35-40 patients/day in a record 72 hours. The plant generates oxygen equivalent to 70 jumbo oxygen cylinders.
Located in the Banaskantha district, the dairy’s Banas Medical College & Research Institute at Palanpur was thrown into a crisis last weekend as it faced an acute shortage of oxygen. The day was saved for the 125 Covid patients as the institute managed to arrange some oxygen cylinders. This ultimately motivated the dairy’s team of engineers to come up with an innovative solution and become self-sufficient which led to the coming up of the oxygen plant.
Shankar Chaudhary, Chairman of Banaskantha District Cooperative Milk Union (Banas Dairy), while speaking to The Hindu, said, “We thought, how long should we depend on the external sources? We wanted to make some arrangement of our own.”
He added, “With the help of our team and vendors, we got the plant running in 72 hours.”
Bipin Patel, Senior GM, while narrating the experience of erecting the plant, said, “We were running against time. Our current vendor could build the plant but didn’t have component such as air-compressors and air-dryer. But we asked him to start building the plant even as we swung to arrange for the missing equipment.” He added that cost was never a factor.
Recently, with the states across the country fighting for Oxygen cylinders, two states where the caseload is low and have good production capacity – Tamil Nadu and Odisha, came forward to help others in these testing times.
Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Minister of Odisha, who sailed the state very well throughout the pandemic, told Prime Minister Modi that his government is ready to assist other states. “It is a war-like situation and Odisha will extend all cooperation in the fight against COVID-19 at the national level including ramping up oxygen production to assist other states in this emergency situation,” Patnaik said to the Prime Minister.
Tamil Nadu government also informed Madras High Court that there is enough oxygen and Remdesivir in the state. “The liquid medical oxygen manufacturing capacity is around 400 metric tonnes a day in Tamil Nadu and the daily medical consumption of oxygen is around 240 tonnes per day. We have a strong healthcare base here in Tamil Nadu. The state has a storage capacity of around 1,200 tonnes,” he said.
Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar reaffirmed that the state has enough oxygen and vaccine supply, and it can share the same with other states. The Madras High Court gave a go-ahead to the government to share the resources with other states and tonnes of oxygen is being diverted from Tamil Nadu to Andhra Pradesh by the Union government. “We are one country. If we have the resources here, we must share it,” a bench comprising chief justice Sanjib Banerjee and Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said.
The only way out of the China-made pandemic is to become self-reliant and Banas dairy stands a shining example for an “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”.