Four MED officials made 1000 LPM oxygen plant functional overnight, DC describes them unsung heroes
By: Ahmad Shabir
Anantnag: For authorities and people, doctors and other health workers are the only warriors in times of pandemic but the other real heroes who spend sleepless nights to ensure disruption free oxygen to the COVID patients are neither known to the people nor appreciated by the authorities. These heroes are the officials of the Mechanical Engineering Department (MED) and its hired low paid workers.
On Saturday when videos of some covid patients at GMC Anantnag gasping for breath due to the shortage of high flow oxygen went viral, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Anantnag, Dr Piyush Singla summoned both the GMC authorities and officials of the MED.
In the meeting, DC instructed the officials to ensure that the patients get uninterrupted high flow oxygen in the hospital and that there should be no shortage of oxygen cylinders. Since getting the cylinders available with GMC refilled on priority was very much in the competence of the DC himself, he spoke to all the refilling agencies and directed them to prioritise GMC Anantnag for being the line tertiary care facility in the southern region.
However, how the high flow oxygen supply to the covid beds can be ensured immediately and without any interruption was his worry. But four MED people including a Junior Engineer (JE), two low paid workers and two welders made it happen overnight.
Hospital sources said that these MED officials worked whole night to ensure that another oxygen supplying plant in the hospital is made functional by morning.
“They spent the entire night fixing the plant and connecting beds with the same. By another morning, the hospital had one more oxygen plant of the capacity of 1000 LPM functional thus solving the major crisis,” they said.
Besides a JE and four other workers of the MED who work in shifts, have to round-the-clock look after all the three oxygen plants having the capacity of 1000, 1000 and 300 LPM.
DC Anantnag shared a photo of MED official busy fixing the oxygen pipes at GMC Anantnag with the title ‘Unsung heroes’.
Nonetheless, on another morning, both GMC Anantnag Principal and DC Anantnag claimed that they have enough oxygen available and that there is no shortage.
“No doubt DC put up all his efforts to get one more oxygen plant in the GMC functional but all his efforts bore the fruit only after these MED officials worked every second during the night. These people have been spending most of the nights out of their homes since the second wave of pandemic,” a top official of MED said.
These workers, the official said, work against Rs 5000 a month, which is grave injustice with them.
“Contribution of health workers is something that everyone accepts. But the contribution of these real heroes is not known to anyone. That is not either being appreciated by the authorities,” the official said.
A doctor posted at GMC Anantnag described these MED people as real covid warriors saying, “Their contribution in fighting the pandemic cannot be ignored.”
One of the MED officials who ensured the functioning of the oxygen plant at GMC Anantnag overnight said that for last nearly one month, day and night is one and same thing for him.
“It is like fighting a war at a time when the enemy has already set in with all the might. We are not doing any favor to people but it pains when our contribution is being ignored,” the middle rung official said.