Govt decides to import oxygen cylinders, concentrators: sources


Islamabad – Staff reporter:

Federal government has decided to import oxygen cylinders and concentrators to deal with increased oxygen supplies in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases.

According to sources having knowledge of the decision, the industries ministry has decided to import oxygen cylinders and concentrators and has conveyed the decision to the National Command Operations Centre (NCOC).

“The concerned authorities have also approached international markets for purchasing oxygen cylinders and concentrators,” they said adding that the decision was made to ensure an uninterrupted supply of oxygen to the health sector in the country.

The sources said that reports have emerged regarding hoarding of oxygen cylinders by the private sector, which has led to jack-up prices in the open market.

Meanwhile, besides arranging oxygen supplies from abroad, a four-member technical team has been constituted on the instructions of the federal government to rehabilitate the Pakistan Steel Mills oxygen plant.

Chief Executive of Pakistan Steel Brig. (Retd) Shujaa Hassan will also be part of the team, which will look into the rehabilitation of the oxygen plant to meet the demand for oxygen in the country, according to sources.

Engineering Development Board’s K.B. Ali will also be among the members of the technical team. The team is expected to visit today to conduct a preliminary review of the Pakistan Steel oxygen plant.

In view of the spike in COVID-19 cases during the third wave of the disease, the country needs more oxygen production to meet the increasing need.

According to sources, the plant has been closed since 2015 but all its facilities are available and very few equipment will be required to be imported for bringing it to operational mode.

After the initial assessment, a report will be prepared and submitted to the government for revival of the oxygen production facility.