Two hospitals by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Covid-struck Lucknow are set to be operational by next week after the intervention of Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The hospital will feature a Medical Oxygen Plant for its own oxygen generation, similar to technology that has been developed for the Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas.
Rajnath Singh, who is also the Member of Parliament from Lucknow, is in constant touch with UP CM Yogi Adityanath over the serious situation in Lucknow which has nearly 45,000 active cases presently, and reported about 6,000 cases in the last 24 hours along with 36 deaths.
Officials told News18 that the Defence Minister is most concerned that patients in need do get a hospital bed and the spread of the pandemic in the state capital is restricted by strict micro-containment measures in the Covid hotspots.
Singh had instructed DRDO on Friday to set up two hospitals with total of 600 beds in Lucknow in mission-mode to increase the bed capacity in the city and is constantly monitoring the progress. “UP government has acted quickly on Singh’s initiative and both sites, the Haj House on Lucknow-Kanpur road and Golden Blossom Resort, have been identified and acquired. The capacity here will be expanded to 1000 beds soon and both facilities will be operational by the end of next week,” an official told News18.
The DRDO will be setting up Medical Oxygen Plants at both these make-shift hospitals which will generate their own Oxygen which will be supplied to patients, eliminating the need for bringing in Oxygen cylinders from outside. This will be a big relief as oxygen shortages are being faced. This technology is inspired from Onboard Oxygen Generation system developed for the light combat aircraft Tejas which generates oxygen directly from atmospheric air. Once installed at the DRDO hospitals, this would reduce dependence on Oxygen cylinders from outside. DRDO is also set to reopen its facility in Delhi for Covid on Sunday.
The Yogi Adityanath government on Saturday also released Rs 225 crore package from the state disaster relief fund for fighting the second Covid wave and put this amount at the disposal of district magistrates for containment operations, medicines, PPE Kits, Oxygen Cylinders, Covid Testing Kits and Home Isolation kits. Districts facing bigger case load were given Rs 5 Cr each while other districts have been given Rs 2 Cr each for the purpose. This followed a Union Home Ministry letter to states two days ago.