BBMP wants to roll out 20 oxy-buses for patients waiting outside hospitals for a bed

A file photo of an oxy-bus.   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT E MAIL

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) proposes to have at least 20 oxy-buses to help COVID-19 patients in critical need of oxygen. A demo bus with eight oxygen cylinders has been fabricated.

BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta on Thursday tweeted that oxy-buses with the capacity to treat eight patients at a time will be stationed near government hospitals and triage centres.

However, the shortage of oxygen cylinders is proving to be a major roadblock to the civic body’s plan. Indi Village Foundation, the organisation that is assisting the civic body with these buses, is not sure when they will be launched.

According to a representative from the foundation, the plan was for the buses to have eight oxygen cylinders each. “But we have been hit hard by the scarcity of oxygen cylinders. We have now revised the plan, and are trying to incorporate oxygen concentrators instead of oxygen cylinders,” the representative said and added that with oxygen concentrators, the buses can be operated round-the-clock.

While the buses will be funded by the foundation, the cost of each bus will now escalate. “We are looking at various options. We will have to import the oxygen concentrators and are in the process of doing so,” the representative said.

With the change in plan, it remains unclear when the initiative will actually be rolled out.

Mr. Gupta said that, apart from Indi Village Foundation, several other organisations too had come forward to assist the civic body with the initiative purely on a voluntary basis. “Our objective is to channelise efforts by various organisations. We are looking at standardisation and utility aspects of this initiative,” he said.

Private initiative

A similar initiative has been taken up by Maharaja Agrasen Hospital, in association with Greenwood High International School. They have launched five buses that will provide free oxygen to people waiting to get a bed outside hospitals. Each bus has been redesigned to accommodate 12 patients at a time.

A press release stated that each patient will be able to use the oxygen for two hours and will also be given a free nasal cannula.

“We plan to see how this initiative works for the next 10 days, and then scale up to 10 buses,” said Satish Kumar Jain of Maharaja Agrasen Hospital.

Citizens who wish to avail this facility can call the hospital at 09620304864.

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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 7:18:27 AM |

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