Oxygen demand grows with surge in Covid-19 cases

KATHMANDU: Major hospitals of the Kathmandu Valley among other cities have been overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients with the surging of new coronavirus infections in the recent days. The increasing cases of corona virus infection has raised concern over the supply of oxygen again.

There was shortage of oxygen during the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic after the government could not meet the demands of oxygen.

As the third wave is just round the corner, the demand for the oxygen has also increased, entrepreneurs said.

Nepal has been witnessing more than 3,000 new cases every day in the recent time.

Oxygen dealers have also been saying that the demand for oxygen has been increasing in the recent days.

When the second wave of Covid-19 gripped the nation, relatives of the patients used to line up at oxygen industry to purchase or refill the oxygen cylinders. The government had also set oxygen quota for all the hospitals of the Kathmandu Valley.  There is a fear that country would have to face the same situation if the new cases keep on increasing.

Shiva Prasad Ghimire, operator of Everest Oxygen Industry, said that the demand for oxygen had decreased with the slowing down of spread of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The demand for oxygen has increased in the recent time. I hope that the country will not have to face acute shortage of oxygen this time,” he said. He has altogether 10,000 oxygen cylinders.

Many hospitals have installed oxygen plants in the recent time to curb the shortage of oxygen.

Birendra Shangahi, an operator of oxygen plant, said that the demand for oxygen has been increasing gradually.

“The demand for oxygen has been increasing gradually with the increase in Covid-19 cases,” he said.

Why oxygen is so important?

Dr Sher Bahadur Pun, a virologist at the Sukraraj Hospital, said that Covid-19 patients, who are in the critical stage, need oxygen when their lungs cannot deliver enough oxygen to function the body.

“Other parts of the body will also be damaged if the lungs stop working. That is why, the patients need oxygen to prevent from other problems,” he said.

Patients suffering from respiratory diseases and pneumonia also need oxygen. The Covid-19 patients need more oxygen in comparation to other patients.

At least 22 oxygen plants are being operated in Nepal.


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