Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid: India's export of liquid oxygen doubled during pandemic year

Web report/Mumbai
Filed on April 21, 2021
Photo: Reuters

Virtually all states witnessing a surge in Covid cases are facing an acute scarcity of oxygen.

In what seems to have been an utterly unplanned strategy, India exported twice as much oxygen between April 2020 and January 2021 — even after the onset of Covid-19 — which has now triggered off a massive shortage resulting in growing casualties.


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The country exported over 9,000 metric tonnes of oxygen between April 2020 and January 2021, as against just 4,500 metric tonnes in the previous fiscal (April 2019 to March 2020).

Virtually all the states witnessing a surge in Covid cases, including Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat are facing an acute scarcity of oxygen, and thousands of patients in a critical condition in hospitals are not getting access to supplies.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has warned the central government that many hospitals have barely enough to meet their needs and they may have to do without oxygen.

Even Maharashtra, the worst-hit state accounting for nearly 60 per cent of Covid-19 cases, has demanded more oxygen as there is a continuous surge in patients in need of it.

The centre has ordered the diversion of oxygen from industries to hospitals. From Thursday, most oxygen supplies will be stopped to manufacturers and sent to hospitals.

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