Demand for oxygen concentrators leads to shortage, black marketing

People purchasing it on own for use in case of emergency

Demand for oxygen concentrators leads to shortage, black marketing

Photo for representational purpose only

Sanjay Bumbroo

Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 2

Fearing the shortage of medical oxygen cylinders, people are now purchasing oxygen concentrators on their own to keep these on standby in case of an emergency. This has resulted in an increase in its demand, leading to shortage and black marketing.

Surinder Singh, a resident of Phase 3B1, said he had old-age parents in his house. He decided to purchase an oxygen concentrator so that it could be used in case of an emergency. The surge in Covid cases could also cause shortage of medical oxygen cylinders in the market.

He contacted several dealers to purchase an oxygen concentrator, but the latter expressed inability to deliver the machine as it was not in the stock and would take more than two weeks for the fresh stock to arrive.

Avtar Singh, a resident of Phase 4, said: “An oxygen concentrator costing around Rs55,000 is now being sold in black market between Rs75,000 and Rs80,000. I wanted to purchase it for my mother, who is suffering from acute asthma, but cannot purchase it due to its high cost”.

An official of Sun Medics, distributor of oxygen concentrators, while confirming the shortage of the machine, said demand by individuals had increased. People wanted to keep the machine at home for any emergency and were booking it in advance. They don’t know as to when the new stock would arrive from abroad.

It may be mentioned here that portable medical oxygen concentrators are used in hospitals or at home to produce oxygen for patients. The ambient air we breathe contains about 78 per cent nitrogen, 21 per oxygen and one per cent of other gases. The concentrator has the job of taking as much of the nitrogen out of the air as is possible while leaving the oxygen.

Yogesh Sagar, president of the Mohali Industries Association, said there was a shortage of oxygen concentrators. He had received requests from some people as they wanted to purchase the machine. Local dealers here have expressed their inability to provide the same as there was no supply from manufacturers. He said Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had also assured to provide cooperation if industrialists show their interest in setting up manufacturing units in the state.


About the machine

Portable medical oxygen concentrators are used in hospitals or at home to produce oxygen for patients. The ambient air we breathe contains about 78 per cent nitrogen, 21 per oxygen and one per cent of other gases. The concentrator has the job of taking as much of the nitrogen out of the air as is possible while leaving the oxygen.

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