January 21, 2022

A week into launching ‘OxyBus’, none on the road yet

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A week after Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa launched the OxyBus vehicles, the same will be operational within the next two days. And, for all the 20 buses to be functional for the masses, it will take quite some time.

The delay has been due to the limitation in obtaining medical oxygen and other materials.

On May 11, Yediyurappa introduced the ‘OxyBus’ and had declared that 20 buses will be stationed with easy access for the hospitals and triage centers to provide help and assistance to the patients in need.

According to a source, right from the launch, BBMP along with their collaborating partner IndiVillage working on the project are constantly struggling to set up the things and make the required arrangements.

The source revealed to media, “Due to the high demand, it has been tough to get oxygen cylinders and the associated materials. Some approvals also took time. At this point, 20 buses seems too ambitious.”

“The first bus is ready and we have fitted out one more,” answered Smita Malipatil, CEO of IndiVillage, working along with BBMP on the project.

Malipatil further said their team is working along with BBMP officers and marshals to curate the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and determine the regions which need assistance.
Currently, IndiVillage has not set up a definite deadline to deliver the remaining 18 buses, so it will be delayed. Malipatil stated, “The main challenge has come from trying to source the supplies and materials required to modify the buses when businesses are shut during the lockdown.”

She further added, “The main challenge has come from trying to source the supplies and materials required to modify the buses when businesses are shut during the lockdown.”

Every bus will include eight oxygenators to accommodate the required patients. However, it will be used as an aid and does not replace the ICU altogether. When inquired about the challenges, Smita said, “We need 160 concentrators in 20 buses. We have been meticulous in procuring medical grade concentrators that suit the purpose of the OxyBus. As soon as we’re able to get enough equipment in place, we will roll out the remaining buses gradually.”

Every bus will consist of paramedics to review the patient’s oxygen levels and accordingly update the doctors.

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