Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid crisis: India acquires 18 oxygen tanks from UAE, to airlift more

Ashwani Kumar/Abu Dhabi
Filed on April 29, 2021
File photo

Country facing an acute shortage of life-saving gas amid a fresh and unprecedented rise in the viral outbreak

India has acquired 18 empty cryogenic tanks from the UAE and expects to airlift more next week to boost supply chains of life-saving gas during the Covid-19 emergency situation.

As India is facing an acute shortage of medical oxygen in the Covid-19 fightback, Indian conglomerate Adani Group has been securing supplies from across the world.

In the UAE, the Group has secured empty oxygen tanks from Dubai-headquartered Caley Energy.

“We’ve procured cryogenic tanks carrying liquid oxygen from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Bangkok, and Singapore with the help of multiple stakeholders. The big challenge we are facing in India is delivering oxygen in large volumes to different parts of the country. So, the empty oxygen containers procured from Dubai will enhance our logistical capabilities,” the Group’s spokesperson told Khaleej Times.

The Indian Air Force C-17 transport aircraft has airlifted 18 such containers.

“In this pursuit, we’re working closely with the Government of Dubai, Government of India, Indian Air Force (IAF), Indian Embassy in the UAE, and Dubai-based Caley Energy to procure much-needed empty cryogenic tanks. The IAF has airlifted 18 such containers and more are expected to leave Dubai for India next week. We’re thankful and gratified by the support demonstrated by the Government of Dubai and its corporate entities for standing by India in these challenging times,” the spokesperson added.

A medical expert from Dubai-based Aster DM Healthcare, which operates 14 hospitals across five Indian states, cited the empty containers would help to bolster the faltering supply chain and save crucial lives.

“India is facing an acute shortage of oxygen supply and the crisis gets worse because of lack of containers to transport the life-saving gas. In this light, a dozen empty oxygen containers will help provide oxygen to the critical patients and hence save hundreds of lives,” said Dr. Sherbaz Bichu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Aster Hospitals and Clinics, UAE.

Medical experts are urging hospitals and the general public to avoid misuse of oxygen.

Dr. Saheer Sainalabdeen, specialist pulmonologist, respiratory medicine, Medeor Hospital, Dubai, said that only patients with any risk factors like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and persistently below an oxygen level of 94 per cent and those without risk factors having an oxygen level below 90 per cent should get themselves admitted to hospital for treatment and better care.

“A pulse oximeter shows the percentage of oxygen in the blood. People can check it at home. The normal value is above 95 per cent. Usually, a Covid-19 patient with pneumonia and having persistently low saturation below 90 per cent will require oxygen. Along with any other secondary cause in which the respiratory rate is persistently above 25 with or without patients complaining of breathing difficulty will require oxygen.”

The normal respiration rate for an adult at rest is 12 to 20 breaths per minute.

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