India aims to increase oxygen output by 50 percent before the third Covid wave
An industry executive stated that India intends to increase its medical oxygen production capacity to 15,000 tonnes per day before a probable third wave of coronavirus infections that is likely to reach the country as early as mid-September.
After reaching a maximum of over 10,000 tonnes during the second Covid-19 wave this year when hospitals ran out of gas and families of patients were forced to seek oxygen cylinders, the new objective represents an increase by 50 per cent. A little over a third of the entire oxygen demand was met by Linde India at the height of the event.
According to Moloy Banerjee, head of Linde South Asia, the government is aiming for 15,000 tonnes of medical oxygen per day, while the company is planning to produce at least 13,500 tonnes per day ahead of the third wave of medical oxygen shortages in the region.
In India, the overall number of Covid-19 cases reached 33.03 million as of Tuesday, with 440,752 deaths, according to data from the health ministry. After a spike in the last few months, the demand for medical oxygen in India has declined significantly. However, gas firms and government officials are preparing in case there is a new surge that is worse than past ones.
To ensure a continuous oxygen supply during a health crisis, the New Delhi administration said last month that it will enhance oxygen production by putting up new manufacturing facilities or expanding current units. As a result of the announcement from the Delhi government, Linde India’s shares soared to new highs and had more than quadrupled in value for the year as of yesterday’s closing price.
“There have been discussions with the Delhi government since the second wave of Covid-19. We are still reviewing the policy and trying to see if it is workable for Linde,” Banerjee added.
The company and government have yet to agree. For its part, Linde has been in contact with the governments of Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh to promote the establishment of additional oxygen storage capacity and production facilities.
During this time, India’s government continues its efforts to repay the assistance it got during the second coronavirus outbreak. 100 metric tonnes of liquid medicinal oxygen and 300 concentrators of oxygen have been shipped to Vietnam to help the country combat Covid-19. To transport Covid-19 relief goods to Southeast Asia, India’s Eastern Naval Command sent the indigenously-built landing ship tank INS Airavat, stationed in Visakhapatnam.
India is also providing Thailand with 300 oxygen concentrators to combat the Covid pandemic. With 300 oxygen concentrators for Thailand’s fight against the Covid-19 epidemic, the Indian Naval Ship (INS) Airavat landed on Friday.
Approximately 150 tonnes of oxygen have been transported to Sri Lanka to help the island country fight the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. In Sri Lanka, the number of cases of Covid has risen dramatically, and the country’s healthcare system is under pressure. Last year, India delivered 26 tonnes worth of vital medical supplies to the neighbouring countries between April and May. Sri Lanka has also received vaccines from India this year.