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RestartingIndia: India faces oxygen scarcity as COVID-19 cases rise

Updated : September 15, 2020 09:25 PM IST

As India's COVID caseload continues to rise, many hospitals across several states are grappling with an acute shortage of medical oxygen. Manufacturers have quadrupled production to meet the increasing demand. Hospitals are now consuming around 2,700 tonne of oxygen everyday versus 750 tonne in April. However, the demand is overshooting supply.

State governments have been asking oxygen manufacturers to ramp up production to maximum capacity and increase the supply to hospitals. For instance, Maharashtra has asked producers to reserve 80 percent of oxygen to hospitals and 20 percent for industries.

Gujarat has also passed a similar directive to producers. But the surge in demand is not from hospitals alone.  Factories that have started to reopen after the lockdown are also adding t.o the sudden spike.

Experts say if the oxygen crisis is not resolved quickly, India could have a situation like Italy at the peak of the pandemic. So how grim is the situation currently and how can we ensure adequate supply of oxygen to hospitals.

Saket Tiku, president of the All India Industrial Gas Manufacturers Association is in conversation with CNBC-TV18 about the oxygen scarcity.
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