Eight patients can be accommodated at a time up to two-four hours
Bengaluru: Taking a leaf out of Chennai NGO ‘Oxygen on Wheels’ playbook, Karnataka yesterday launched its own version — OxyBus service — to help COVID patients breathe during emergencies.
Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa in his tweet said that each makeshift OxyBus supports up to eight patients.”Twenty such units will be set up near Government Hospitals and Triage Centres in Bengaluru, and more units will be set up across the State,” Yediyurappa said.
“We are ensuring transparency and efficiency in the system for timely availability of beds to COVID-19 patients, the CM added. He also personally inspected the OxyBus facility.
After the second wave hit the State in mid-March and intensified in April, the healthcare infrastructure is facing a daunting task of saving patients during the ‘Golden Hour’. Hospitals across the State are crumbling due to shortage of life-saving equipment such as ventilators and oxygen concentrators.
Last week, Chennai-based Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) launched the relief project ‘Oxygen on Wheels’ in association with the Greater Chennai Corporation to address the Oxygen deficit faced by hospitals across that city.
Karnataka Health Department officials said that through this critical ‘Golden Hour’ initiative, the Government is hoping to save as many lives as it can and also to minimise the casualty that could arise as a result of non-availability of beds.
For now, the oxygen-supplying special bus will be stationed in the premises of K.C. General Hospital or Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru. Patients coming from outside can use this facility before getting admission into wards. Medical equipment has been fitted inside this bus to provide oxygen to needy patients. Currently, one bus has been spared for this purpose.
Foundation India, a voluntary organisation, is fixing all medical equipment inside the bus to supply oxygen. Eight patients can inhale oxygen at one time. This bus is a ‘Sanjeevini’ for those patients who experience severe breathlessness due to infection, officials added.
The bus has been designed in such a way that it does not pass on infection to driver and staff. Masks and sanitisers will be provided. Each patient can take oxygen for two to four hours. If this proves successful, more and more ‘oxygen-on-wheels’ will be introduced at other City Corporations.
It will be a first experiment in the entire country and the credit must go to Sanjay Gupta of Foundation India Organisation, said the officials.
Yediyurappa said that the second wave is showing signs of respite. However, people should take care with wearing masks, maintain social distancing and not to come out from the house unnecessarily. Besides, they should cooperate with the Government efforts to bring down the virus infections.