With asymptomatic Covid cases growing and patients approaching the hospitals with complaints of low oxygen levels, the demand for Oxygen cylinders has gone up exponentially in the GHMC area. Hospital sources claim that while earlier they used to get the cylinders refilled once in ten days, now they are forced to refill them in just two days.
According to sources, two companies – Ellenbury Industrial Gases Ltd and Inox Air Products Pvt Ltd – produce oxygen. They produce upto 80 tonnes of oxygen every day. However, the demand has now gone up to 120 tonnes of liquid oxygen. In Gandhi hospital, which is a Covid hospital, the liquid oxygen storage capacity has been hiked from 10000 litres to 15000 litres. In Osmania hospital too, the capacity has been hiked from 6000 tonnes to 9000 tonnes. In all government hospitals, including King Kothi hospital, TIMS, NIIMS, the storage capacity has been hiked.
With the demand rising, the prices have been hiked. A thriving black market has also grown in the twin cities. Sources said that hoarding of oxygen cylinders is also growing exponentially. On the whole, a thriving oxygen market is raining money for the companies and traders.