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Authorities should check oxygen supply being sent to India: CHEMSAN president

2021 Apr 22, 19:48, Kathmandu
A man is seen checking the oxyen cylinders in a hospital store room in India. Photo: AFP/RSS

As Nepal has been battling to contain increasing new cases of coronavirus infection in the second wave of the pandemic, it has come to light that many medical suppliers in the country have been sending oxygen supplies to India.

Chemical and Medical Suppliers Association of Nepal (CHEMSAN) President Suresh Ghimire, in view of surging cases of infection, expressed his view that the government authorities should handle the outgoing oxygen supplies properly as the country may need more of it anytime.

On April 13, the health minister stated that Nepal’s COVID-19 case tally could surpass the 600,000 marks with a daily rise of more than 11,000 by the next three months.

It has been reported that 26 of the hospitals in the country have oxygen plants and only some of them are in operation currently.

CHEMSAN President Ghimire said that the association has sent a letter urging the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Health and Population to control the illegal oxygen supply to India. He was of the view that the health authorities should check and ready the oxygen supply and the plants in case of emergency. There are only a few oxygen plants in Nepal and many of them need repairing and maintenance, Ghimire said.

Meanwhile, hospitals in India have come perilously close to seeing their oxygen supplies run out as infections continue to spike in the country. The country of 1.3 billion population is battling severe shortages of medical supplies.

Doctors in Nepal have suggested that all the hospitals treating Covid-19 patients should have a ready supply of oxygen which is not seen in many hospitals in Nepal. The doctors have also feared that the fatality from Covid could rise due to inadequate oxygen supplies. Infection numbers are rising and Intensive care unit beds allocated for Covid-19 patients are being occupied.

The health ministry Thursday reported 2,365 new cases of coronavirus infection in Nepal. The addition of new cases has taken the country's COVID-19 tally to 292,152.

The data provided by the MoHP shows that 4.34 per cent of the total population have been infected with the novel coronavirus as of Thursday while the recovery rate has been falling every day. Currently, the fatality rate from Covid stands at 1.07 per cent.


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