Published On: Thu, May 20th, 2021

‘Learn from bitter experience’: Delhi HC asks hospitals to set up O2 plants

New Delhi: Emphasising on learning from “bitter experience” of the second wave of Covid-19, the Delhi High Court on Thursday asked all big hospitals with 100 or more beds in the capital to install Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) oxygen plants.

The court also asked the amicus curiae to convene a meeting between the MCD and DDA

A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said lessons have to be learnt from the crisis, which was caused due to shortage of medical oxygen for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

“The bitter experience with huge shortage of medical oxygen has certainly left a lesson to be learnt particularly for hospitals,” it said.

The court said the big hospitals in the capital with 100-bedded facilities or more should install PSA oxygen plants and ensure that their capacity is more than normal requirement to minimise dependence on other sources. “Larger hospitals with 100-bedded facilities or more should have their own PSA plants having capacity of at least two times their normal requirement,” said the bench.

The bench added that smaller hospitals and nursing homes with 50-100 beds should also have PSA plants with a capacity to meet the normal requirement, which may prove helpful in mitigating, if there were a similar crisis in future.

The court observed that for installation of these plants, municipal corporations and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) may consider exploring some relaxations in building by-laws. The authorities could see that if the PSA plants can be installed in open parking spaces of the hospitals, added the bench.

The court also asked the amicus curiae to convene a meeting between the MCD and DDA, and the representatives of the hospitals and nursing homes, within one week, to deliberate on this matter.

Citing an earlier submission made by doctor of a private hospital that the management is willing to set up PSA plants in their open parking space, the court said its directions in the matter should be followed by hospitals under Delhi government, Central government and various municipal corporations.

It also asked the Delhi’s Principal Secretary, Health to take up the installation of PSA oxygen plants with hospitals and file a status report by May 27.

The court sought a designated nodal officer, appointed by Centre and Delhi government, monitor the aspect of supply and installation of PSA plants in the hospitals. It also examined the status reports filed by the Delhi government and Centre in connection with installation of PSA plants in their hospitals. It was pointed out to the court that some plants are in the process of being installed.

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