As the numbers of Corona-positive patients are increasing with every passing day, the J&K government has decided to involve the private sector to ensure oxygen supply in the hospitals, across the Union Territory.

Instead of depending on existing plants in different hospitals, authorities will purchase oxygen from the private sector to meet any challenge in the future. The government on Saturday constituted a high-level committee to ensure adequate and timely supply of medical oxygen to all hospitals for meeting the requirements of Covid patients.

"We are involving the private sector to ensure adequate supply of oxygen", Director Industries and Commerce, Anoo Malhotra, told the International Business News. "As of now seven oxygen plants are functioning in the private sector", says Malhotra, a member of the high-level panel. "We will ensure that these plants will function round the clock for uninterrupted supply of oxygen in different hospitals," she said.

corona virus

Commissioner Secretary to the government, Manoj Kumar Diwedi, issued an order this afternoon to accord sanction for the constitution of the committee.

The committee will be headed by Principal Secretary to the government Industries and Commerce Department while its members included Divisional Commissioners of both Kashmir and Jammu divisions. Director Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Srinagar, principals of both Jammu and Srinagar medical colleges, director NHRM, J&K, director industries and commerce of both Jammu and Srinagar provinces, and director health services of both the provinces will also be members of the panel.

Responsibility has been fixed on this panel to ensure a regular and adequate supply of medical oxygen to all hospitals to meet any current and future needs.

Indian workers examine oxygen cylinders at the Baba Raghav Das Hospital in Gorakhpur, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, on August 12, 2017.AFP/Getty Images

Why this panel?

During the first wave of the deadly virus, the Government Medical College- Jammu's premier health institute, had confronted with the shortage of oxygen as the only existing plant in the hospital could not face the burden of the Corona patients during the peak.

Due to the rush of patients in the month of September 2020, consumption of oxygen had increased manifolds and the existing oxygen plant of the hospital virtually became defunct.

Following the deaths of some Covid-19 patients, allegedly due to non-availability of oxygen, the J&K administration had suspended two officials, including a Deputy Medical Superintendent, over the shortage of oxygen supply to patients and mismanagement at Government Medical College, Jammu.

The inquiry committee report had suggested that there had been a complete lack of coordination between the hospital administration and the mechanical engineering wing of the hospital which led to the poor service delivery system to the patients, particularly those suffering from a virus.