Covid third wave: Vadodara to install Oxygen pipelines at 3 new health centres

The oxygen pipelines will be installed at three of the eight UCHCs that are currently in the final stages of construction at Chhani, Atladara, and Manjalpur–constructed at a cost of Rs 3 crore.

The standing committee of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) Friday approved a proposal to install Oxygen pipelines at three new Urban Community Health Centres (UCHCs) that will be ready by October-end in the city.

The health department had proposed the pipelines in anticipation of the third wave of COVID-19, as well as for other healthcare requirements.

The oxygen pipelines will be installed at three of the eight UCHCs that are currently in the final stages of construction at Chhani, Atladara, and Manjalpur–constructed at a cost of Rs 3 crore. Each of the UCHC has a capacity of about 50 beds.

VMC has decided to install the oxygen pipelines in the new facilities to prepare for any eventuality related to the pandemic. In its proposal, the health department has cited the rising need for oxygen due to the pandemic for the installation of oxygen systems.

“Considering the need during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Vadodara when the number of patients requiring oxygen support was on the rise, emergency work was undertaken for the installation of oxygen pipelines to meet the requirements at GMERS hospital and SSG hospital, which were dedicated Covid-19 hospitals… the contractor will also install the oxygen pipeline systems at the other upcoming UCHCs in the city,” the proposal states.

The civic body, with an annual budget allocation of Rs 3 crore for the construction of health infrastructure in the city, has sought n advance approval to revise the budget allocation should the existing funds be insufficient to cover the costs of the projects.

VMC has invited a cost proposal from the two agencies that had installed the oxygen pipelines at the SSG Hospital and the Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society (GMERS)-run Gotri General Hospital for “labour for installation of medical gas pipeline”.

The proposal states that VMC has negotiated rates with an Ahmedabad-based contractor, Manisha Engineering, who installed the pipelines at GMERS-Gotri, to undertake the installation work at a labour cost of Rs 153 per metre, instead of the originally quoted Rs 210 per metre for a 12-mm copper pipe oxygen system, including the cost of purchasing new spare accessories as needed.

The health department officials said the civic body plans to re-install the existing oxygen pipelines from the 1,000-bed Covid-19 extension facility that was set up at Yagnapurush complex in Atladara’s BAPS Swaminarayan facility, set up on war footing during the second wave in April this year.

“We already have oxygen pipelines at the Yagnapurush Complex, which was a 1,000-bed extension facility for SSG hospital during the pandemic. We only need to re-install the existing pipelines that we already have. It is to be prepared for any possible need for the facility with oxygen, whether due to the pandemic or otherwise. The three UCHCs will be ready by October-end for use,” said Dr Devesh Patel, VMC medical officer for health.

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