Nepal can produce enough medical oxygen for a health crisis, but there are problems with the supply system

Amid media reports that the southern neighbor, India, is struggling hard to manage sufficient oxygen for Covid-19 patients, there are concerns if Nepal will face the same situation.

Stakeholders and industrialists, however, say there is no need to worry as Nepal has already been producing more oxygen than what the country needs even when it reaches the peak of the Covid-19 spread.

However, there are some serious problems in the supply system, according to them.

“We are independent on oxygen production. Nepal should not worry if the government takes initiatives in managing new cylinders and stops hoarding them,” says Gaurav Sharda, Nepal Oxygen Industry Association.

There are 20 oxygen production companies in the country and they have been producing 8,000 cylinders of oxygen every day, informs Narayan Datta Timilsina, the general secretary of the association. Around 70 per cent of that is available for medical purposes.

The Health Ministry has estimated that the demand for oxygen can reach the peak at 6,000 cylinders per day if the situation worsens. That is why, Nepal should not worry, claims Sharda.

But, it is the problems with the supply system that could trouble the country.

Because a 10-litre cylinder to fill medical oxygen is as expensive as worth Rs 20,000, the companies have managed them in a limited number. That is why they cannot send them to a distance, according to the industrialists.

In such cases, using tankers to supply oxygen is a better option, but most of the companies do not have the infrastructures to fill the tankers.