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JSW to build 1000 Bed Hospital for Covid at Ballari

JSW Steel has come forward to build a temporary 1,000-bed facility with oxygen at Toranagallu in Ballari. The hospital is being built to help Covid-19 patients in North Karnataka get oxygen and care in a timely manner.

The availability of oxygen plants at Ballari was a major factor in the decision to build the hospital here. Linde/Praxair, Bellary Oxygen Company (BOC), Air Water Separation Ltd, and Industrial Gases Ltd are the four oxygen plants.

To supply oxygen to the hospital beds, a 4-kilometer oxygen pipeline is being laid. The Karnataka government will provide human resources such as doctors, nurses, technicians, and workers to run the hospital while JSW is constructing the infrastructure.

On a daily basis, the JSW campus now supplies more than 600 MT of liquid medical oxygen. Karnataka receives approximately 60% of the total supply. Since oxygen is extremely flammable, transporting it is difficult and time-consuming. As a result, a hospital located near an oxygen plant would benefit patients who need immediate oxygen.

Meanwhile, oxygen availability in Karnataka appears to have improved since last week: The Centre has increased the allocation of medical oxygen from 300 MT to 802 MT per day, on the request of the State Government, and has promised further allocation should there be a further spike in demand. According to the sources, 50 tonnes of the 802 MT will come from Kalinganagar in Odisha and 30 tonnes from Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. In light of the sudden increase in Covid-19 cases and unprecedented demand for oxygen, the Chief Secretary had demanded that the Centre allocate 1,400MT of medical oxygen by the first week of May.

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