Bihar govt setting up 122 oxygen plants in hospitals

Altogether 122 oxygen plants are being set up in hospitals and health centres in Bihar and they will start functioning from August 15, the state assembly was informed on Thursday.

Taking into account the predicted third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the state government will establish 1,600 health institutes, including 40 pediatric intensive care units, in the next 15 months, Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey said.

While concluding the debate on the increased budgetary demand of Rs 3959.10 crore for his department for 2021-22 fiscal in the assembly, he said that a total of 28,594 beds are ready across the state to deal with the likely outbreak of the third wave of the pandemic.

The increased budgetary demand of the health department was passed by the House amid noisy scenes as opposition members staged a walkout after their demand for a recount of the Covid-19 death toll in Bihar was not met.

The number of coronavirus fatalities in Bihar jumped by 72.84 per cent (addition of 3,951 deaths) after a recount by the government. The state government undertook the revision exercise following an order of the Patna High Court.

The high court on May 17 had flagged inconsistency in death figures in Buxar district after affidavits filed by the state’s chief secretary and the Patna divisional commissioner differed. After verification, the state’s Covid-19 cumulative toll jumped to 9,375 on June 8, as against 5,424 reported earlier.

Earlier in the day, CPI-ML (Liberation) members trooped into the well of the House, raising slogans and holding placards against the government. They too were demanding a recount of the COVID-19 death toll.