Srinagar: With COVID-19 pushing up the demand for oxygen, the administration of Jammu & Kashmir plans to set-up oxygen generation plants in all medical colleges, associated hospitals and district hospitals of the Union Territory.
To begin with, the administration has proposed Rs 227 crore in J&K UT’s budget for setting up oxygen generation plants in all vital health institutions in the UT’s capitals and districts.
“Thirty seven oxygen generation plants in all medical colleges, associated hospitals and district hospitals of UT of J&K are being established to cope up with additional requirement of medical oxygen due to COVID-19 pandemic at a cost of Rs 227.73 crore,” reads documents in possession of Precious Kashmir.
Last year, the Health & Medical Education had come under sharp criticism from different quarters over shortage of oxygen in hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients. The demand for oxygen in hospitals had increased manifold in J&K after the outbreak of COVID-19, with existing plants unable to bear the increasing patient load.
So far, Jammu and Kashmir has reported 1,29,031 COVID-19 cases- 75627 in Jammu and 52504 in Kashmir. The COVID-19 has also consumed 1983 lives in the UT including 1251 in Kashmir and 732 in Jammu.
The Economic Survey 2020-2021 presented in Parliament last month has claimed J&K’s COVID19 mortality “more than expected” while the number of cases was not as high as anticipated.
According to the report, J&K’s reported COVID19 fatality was 9.6 (out of 100) more than estimated (naturally expected).
In the budget for next fiscal, J&K has earmarked Rs 40 crore as ex-gratia relief for COVID-19 warriors, documents reveal.
On August 14 last year, Jammu and Kashmir had announced Rs 25 lakh ex-gratia to the dependents/legal heirs of those health workers, including community health workers, who may lose their lives as a result of being in direct contact and care of COVID-19 patients.
This announcement was in addition to Rs 50 lakh insurance cover being provided to healthcare workers who are in direct contact with COVID-19 patients under “ Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package.”