PM CARES Fund: 1 Lakh Portable Oxygen Concentrators

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently sanctioned the procurement of one lakh oxygen portable oxygen concentrators from the PM-CARES Fund.

Oxygen Generation Plants

  • Initially, 162 Pressure Swing Adsorption Oxygen Generation plants were sanctioned under PM CARES Fund. Later this was increased to 551 Pressure Swing Adsorption Oxygen Generation Plants.
  • So far, 1,213 Pressure Swing Adsorption oxygen plants have been approved under the PM-CARES fund.
  • France, UK and several other foreign countries have come forward to help India by supplying Oxygen Concentrators. An inter-ministerial group has been set up to clear the relief materials immediately and make sure they the respective institutes on time.

Why is India facing a huge Oxygen Shortage crisis?

  • Most of the Oxygen producing plants in India are located in the eastern part of the country. They are thousand miles away from Mumbai and Delhi where the COVID-19 surges are at the highest.
  • Oxygen is not easy to transport. It should either be transported by trains or by roads. It cannot be flown on planes.
  • The Cryogenic tanks that hold compressed oxygen cannot be manufactured quickly. It takes about four to six months to produce.

Why are Oxygen levels low with COVID-19?

The COVID-19 virus causes Hypoxia. Hypoxia is difficulty in breathing. A healthy lung keeps the blood level oxygen at 95% to 100%. When the blood level oxygen dips below 92% it causes a concern and supplementary oxygen should be provided.

The COVID-19 virus affects the lung cells. Their infection damages the walls and linings of the air sacs where the exchange of the gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide) occurs.

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