Visakhapatnam: As the state is swept by the second wave of COVID-19, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd. (RINL), the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, is setting up a massive 1,000-bed COVID Care Hospital facility on its premises to tackle the growing number of cases.

RINL is procuring all necessary material and making arrangements to expedite the delivery of medical oxygen even as fabrication work for hospital cots is in full swing at the utility equipment repair shop (UERS) inside the plant premises.

In the first step towards arranging the 1,000-bed facility, the Gurajada Kalakshetram, the popular function hall in Visakhapatnam, is being converted into a COVID care centre. Also, various community halls and public halls will be converted into hospital wards for COVID-19 patients in a phased manner. All the wards of Visakha Steel General Hospital (over 110 beds) have been converted to COVID-19 wards except for one ward that has been kept aside for emergency non-COVID cases.

Meanwhile, RINL said it stands with the nation in the prevailing oxygen crisis and will continue to supply liquid medical oxygen (LMO). So far, since 13 April 13, it has dispatched more than 2,200 tons of LMO, mostly to Andhra Pradesh. It also supplied 100 tons to Maharashtra on 22 April via the first Oxygen Express. As per government allocation plan, RINL is also extending support to Karnataka.

Since the onset of the pandemic, RINL said it had already dispatched 11,000 tonnes of oxygen to various destinations. The distribution and dispatches of LMO is being done as per the guideline of the Drug Controller Authority of India.

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