India gifts medical oxygen plant to Nepal

modiSource : dw

The installation of the plant will help in avoiding the dependence of hospitals on scarce oxygen cylinders

India gifted a medical oxygen plant to Nepal on Thursday, in an effort to aid the nation in combating COVID-19.

The medical oxygen plant amounts to a capacity of 960 litre per minute (LPM), catering to a total of 200 people at a rate of 5 LPM per person. It has been installed at the B P Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS).

According to the press statement released by the Indian Embassy, the Ambassador of India to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra handed over the plant to the Minister of State for Health Umesh Shreshtha during the ceremony organised at the Ministry of Health and Population.

At the ceremony, the Ambassador highlighted the significance of the deep-rooted and multifaceted relationship between India and Nepal and reiterated this gift symbolised India’s continued commitment to Nepal in tackling the pandemic.

The Minister of State for Health added that the assistance of the Government of India in building BPKIHS two decades ago in addition to giving the oxygen plant today will go a long way in serving the people of Nepal especially those of Provinces 1 and 2.

With this Defence Bio-engineering and Electromedical Laboratory (DEBEL) medical plant developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), hospitals now have the option of generating oxygen on-site and in a highly cost-effective manner.

Nepal has been battling the virus for quite some time now, especially in the second wave.

Image taken from Nepal’s COVID-19 dashboard
Data taken from Nepal’s COVID-19 dashboard

In May 2021, Nepal’s Supreme Court had ordered the government to make sure that no COVID-19 patient dies due to lack of oxygen. The government had also banned all use of non-medical oxygen.

There were numerous reports of people being turned away due to lack of oxygen in hospitals.

Despite a few tussles in India-Nepal relationship in the past year, the Government today, reiterated that it will stand with Nepal and provide necessary assistance in the best possible manner in accordance with their deep-rooted bilateral ties.

Arushi Bhaskar and Neha Sasi