Hyderabad: NGO provides much-needed oxygen
- 10-litre oxygen cylinder costs more than Rs 20,000
- 47.2-litre cylinder costs around Rs 35,000
Tolichowki: With an unprecedented surge in Covid-19 cases, the demand for oxygen cylinders is growing. Some hospitals have even reported zero stocks of the cylinder and have been asking the patients to bring their own oxygen cylinders or to contact the city NGOs for cylinders.
A city-based NGO Sakina Foundation has come to the rescue of the citizens who are facing shortage of oxygen. The NGO is providing oxygen cylinders of all sizes including jumbo size of 42.7 litres. "In the last few days we are receiving around 200 calls for cylinders every day. We haven't been able to help them all, as there is a shortage and there is no supply of oxygen cylinders in the city," said Mohammed Asif Hussain Sohail of Sakina Foundation. And he has spent more than Rs 10 lakh to buy cylinders and send them to the homes of the needy.
Even hospitals in the city are running out of beds with oxygen facilities, following which the patients are asked to bring their own cylinders. "When I took my father to a private hospital in Mehdipatnam, the hospital said that there is no bed with oxygen and asked us to bring an oxygen cylinder. Thanks to the Sakina Foundation (NGO) that they provided me with an oxygen cylinder for free," said Shaik Shoieb, a resident of Tolichowki.
Like Shoieb, there are several such people who are running from pillar to post in search of oxygen cylinders. "On the present Covid-19 situation, the city needs at least 10,000 oxygen cylinders daily, but hardly 3,000 cylinders are available. Oxygen is vital in the case of critical and semi-critical patients who are suffering from breathlessness, and due to shortage of oxygen the patients are turning serious and losing lives," noted Sohail.
Oxygen cylinder prices rise
At present, the price of 10-litre oxygen cylinders has gone up to Rs 20,000 and 47.2-litre cylinder to Rs 35,000. This rise in the price has financially burdened the patients and many of them cannot afford. The refilling cost of the cylinder has also increased from Rs 2,500 per litre.
Another drawback is the black marketing of cylinders following which even hospitals are in dire need of cylinders. Sohail urges the government to provide oxygen cylinders at an affordable cost through oxygen banks which is the need of the hour.