Pune: A “minor” release of oxygen occurred in Pimpri Chinchwad in Maharashtra’s Pune district, on Wednesday evening, because of excess pressure during refilling at an oxygen plant of Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital (YCMH), officials said. According to the Pimpri Chinchwad civic body officials, no damage or actual leakage took place from the medical oxygen plant at the municipal-run hospital since there was a safety mechanism in place. “Around 7.30 pm, when liquid medical oxygen was being filled in one of the tanks at YCMH, there was a minor release of pressure due to fluctuation in pressure of the tank. Safety valve, which is there to operate and release the excess pressure, got damaged. However, an alternate safety valve was put to use immediately,” Rajesh Patil, Commissioner, Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation said.
Patil also said that the hospital has 300 patients currently and that it has one and half hours of manifold backup (of oxygen). The officer added the tank in question was supplying oxygen to a 30-bed ICU and one floor of the hospital, which had 100 patients.
“The oxygen facility was audited by the biomedical department of the College of Engineering, Pune, (COEP) and all patients and tanks are safe. I personally visited the plant and confirmed it,” he said.
In another incident in the Pimpri Chinchwad area, five people were arrested for alleged black-marketing of Amphotericin B, a key drug used in the treatment of black fungus (mucormycosis), police said on Wednesday. Those arrested include a medical shop owner and a nurse.
According to officials, the accused were selling a vial of Amphotericin B injection for Rs 21,000 against the original price of Rs 7,814. They also sold Bevacizumab injection, used in the treatment of COVID-19, for Rs 65,000 when the actual price of the medicine is Rs 54,000 per vial.
A police official from Pimpri Chinchwad said that one of the accused was contacted with the help of a decoy customer after the police received information that some people were involved in the black-marketing of the drug. The official added that all five accused have been arrested under various sections of the India Penal Code, the Drugs Prices Control Order and the Essential Commodities Act.
(With inputs from PTI)