As Hyderabad gasps for oxygen, suppliers swamped with calls switch off phones

Oxygen retailers in the city are not receiving calls on their phones or responding to messages on WhatsApp due to the sheer number of requests.

Published: 23rd April 2021 08:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd April 2021 12:16 PM   |  A+A-


For representative purposes (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  The supply of oxygen has stopped for Covid-19 patients in Hyderabad who are in need of it and are under home isolation. Oxygen retailers in the city are not receiving calls on their phones or responding to messages on WhatsApp due to the sheer number of requests for oxygen cylinders from patients, due to a severe shortage of oxygen in the city.

A poster proclaiming ‘no stock’ is pasted outside a shop supplying oxygen cylinders at Nacharam, on Thursday | S Senbagapandiyan

There are around 150 retailers of oxygen and other industrial gases in Hyderabad. Of them, around 50 per cent have the licence to supply the gas for medical use, said Md Sardar Khan, General Secretary, Telangana Gas Manufacturing and Dealers Association.Khan said: “Many Covid-19 patients who can’t afford to get admitted in private hospitals are getting treatment at home and are using the cylinders. Currently, oxygen retailers are only fulfilling their commitments to patients and hospitals to whom they have already provided cylinders earlier.”

He added: “We are unable to provide cylinders to more people because once the cylinder gets empty (within 12 hours for a 47-litre cylinder), they will come to us for refilling it and we would not be able to do it due to our prior commitments. We are helpless.”Khan provides refilling for around 80 cylinders daily. He has been receiving at least 50-60 new calls every day asking for cylinders. He added that although there was also an oxygen shortage during the August-September period last year, it was not as severe as now. 


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