April 24, 2024, 10:02 am

Oxygen cylinder crisis hits corona treatment

  • Update Time : Friday, April 23, 2021
  • 271 Time View
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The price of a cylinder with 1400 liters oxygen was Tk 26,000 around a month ago. Now, it is being sold between Tk 47,000 and Tk 50,000 depending on the market or location.

Special Correspondent:

Like the neighboring country India, the crisis of oxygen cylinders has taken serious turn in Bangladesh during the second wave of corona pandemic that hampers treatment of corona infected patients, who suffer from breathing problem.

Many patients and their relatives can’t collect oxygen cylinders even after consenting to pay high prices due to creation of an artificial scarcity by a syndicate during the severe crisis moment of the nation.

Meanwhile, the prices of oxygen cylinders have been increased several times high at the retail level taking the advantage of rising demand in the recent time.

During a spot visit to different places in and out of Dhaka, this correspondent came to know that, the price of a cylinder with 1400 liters oxygen was Tk 26,000 around a month ago. Now, it is being sold between Tk 47,000 and Tk 50,000 depending on the market or location. The demand of this special thing has increased significantly due to recent onslaught of COVID-19.

At the same time, as a precaution, many people have stockpiled cylinders causing price hike of the thing. Patient deaths are also occurring due to not being able to ensure oxygen supply at the right time. In such a situation, many people want to know where to get the oxygen cylinder when needed?

Sources said, a number of companies including Spectra Oxygen Limited, Linde Group Limited, Meghna Group and Islam Group are involved in the business of cylinder oxygen and other gaseous substances for a long time.

Officials of these companies said that most of the gas cylinders depend on imports. Oxygen cylinders are usually imported from China and India.

Badruddin Al Hossain, CEO of Islam Oxygen said, some companies meet the general demand by importing oxygen cylinders. However, the demand for oxygen has increased more than usual in the last one month.

He claimed that, despite the increase in demand, the prices at the company level have not gone up compared to earlier. The prices have been increased at the retail level with the opportunity to increase the demand for oxygen cylinders.

Kamrul Islam, who is involved with oxygen supply business for almost two decades said, “A lot of people, who don’t really need oxygen cylinders right now, are collecting it for preservation thinking future need. Consequently, the crisis is on the rise.”

“A month ago, I sold about 30 oxygen cylinders a day, now at least 100 people come to buy cylinders every day,” he added.

Forman Ali, a resident of Mirpur, was carrying treatment of his corona infected father at his resident.

“My father suffers from breathing problem. Finding no way, I went to collect an oxygen cylinder from local market. But, the price was much higher. A cylinder with 1400-liter oxygen was sold at Tk 50,000 against the previous price at Tk 26,000. I was forced to come back with empty hand due to lack of my affordability.

Health experts said, Don’t use oxygen without doctor’s advice and help. Chest Disease and Medicine Professor Mohammad Azizur Rahman said, “Many people have bought oxygen filled cylinders and kept them at home. Not knowing exactly when, how and how much oxygen may be a big risk. Unnecessary and excessive use of oxygen can increase the risk. So, nobody should use oxygen without advice of doctors.”

“The amount of oxygen in the blood of a healthy person is usually between 95 and 98 percent. Some patients with coronary heart disease have low oxygen levels. Then oxygen may be needed. Pulse oximeter device is used to monitor the level of oxygen in the blood. If the level of oxygen in this device is found to be low, then you should go to a nearby hospital or consult a doctor. None should take oxygen from own initiative. Because of the level of oxygen and the method of application may not be same for all patients,” he added.

Various companies have been renting oxygen cylinders through online including facebook for asthma, pneumonia and other respiratory problems for a long time. The range of this sector has increased since the onset of coronavirus infection last year. Many companies are supplying oxygen cylinders on the demand basis. These organizations claimed that, the full package of oxygen service is being delivered to the house within two hours inside Dhaka city.

Some organizations are also providing free oxygen cylinders to the infected with coronavirus.

 

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