THD NewsDesk, New Delhi: The new strains of Coronavirus is bringing with it more cases of breathlessness and hence with it the inevitable rising demand of oxygen supply. But India’s state of affairs has brought it upon itself that the people are facing a severe shortage of oxygen supply
Between April 2020 and January 2021, India exported over 9,000 metric tonnes of oxygen. While in the financial year 2020, only 4,500 metric tonnes of oxygen were exported but inexplicably, it was doubled since.
It is important to note that the difference in export between January 2020 to January 2021 is a steep rise from a 352 metric tonnes of oxygen to a staggering 734 per cent.
The country exported 2,193 metric tonnes of oxygen in December – a 308 per cent increase compared to 538 metric tonnes in December 2019.
The export data for February and March 2021 has not been released yet.
Siddharth Jain, director of Inox Air Products the largest manufacturer of medical oxygen told in an interview with Moneycontrol that,
“There was a reason to worry only if the COVID-19 wave did not decline in Maharashtra and Gujarat and the demand for oxygen in other states rose. There is no supply-side bottleneck that the industry is facing at the moment.”
Hospitals in Delhi reported yesterday that there are only a few more hours of oxygen left but new tankers did arrive by night.
The problem, Mr Jain said that most of the supply of oxygen is currently available in the Eastern part of the country like in Odisha or Jharkhand but the demand is coming from the Western states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh. The problem rises in transportation, the government’s announcement to provide railways for transportation will help make the situation better hopefully.
Mr Jain added,
“At present, 7,200 metric tonnes per day (MTPD) of oxygen is manufactured in India in liquid form, which is supplied to hospitals. The current demand is 5,000 MTPD only.”
The steep rise in cases from April 15 has also brought about the need for better medical preparedness on part of the country which is not ready clearly. The Center has advised the states to use oxygen economically and has also announced the diversion of oxygen supply from industrial use to medical use.
Even the director of Inox Air Products is counting on the decline of the cases after a month especially in the states of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh so that the oxygen supply could sufficiently administer the needs of the people.