KARACHI: Ismail Suttar, President of the Apex Body of Manufacturers, the Employers Federation of Pakistan (EFP), suggested the government to consider importing oxygen cylinders from China to meet the escalating demand for oxygen gas cylinders in the country amid the corona outbreak.
He says that Pakistan can arrange them, but some shameful people are propagating their businesses by reselling used cylinders at a 500% profit.
In a recent statement, he said that with the confirmed cases reaching 160,000 patients, hospitals have started to report an acute shortage of oxygen cylinders. Similarly, oxygen concentrators and oximetry devices are in short supply, and their availability is subject to exorbitant prices. As home-quarantined people look towards sourcing oxygen cylinders, the lack of availability and the high-cost barrier have complimented the country’s worsening health system.
In this dire situation, the EFP strongly urges the government to import oxygen cylinders to manage and contain the ever-increasing demand for oxygen in both hospitals and households. As the prices of oxygen cylinders and related essentials continue to rise, now is the time to analyze the existing production capacity of gas plants to judge the feasibility of expanding local production in the medium-term while meeting the current demand through the import route.
“The regulation of the supply chain is also necessary to handle the price and availability issues while ensuring that no one exploits the national health emergency for personal gains. The singular focus on ventilators must be altered to accommodate the crisis of oxygen cylinders. Hence, the government should consider the option of importing oxygen cylinders and take proactive measures to ensure the equilibrium between local demand and supply,” Ismail Suttar added.
The EFP President has requested the people of Pakistan, in the name of humanity, to return cylinders once they are done using them.