National

Supply crunch for oxygen concentrators gradually easing

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on May 23, 2021

Unlike central oxygen supply system or oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators do not require external supply of oxygen   -  PTI

With the spread now more prevalent in the tier-2 and tier-3 regions, the demand for oxygen concentrators has become more widespread beyond the top metros

As India battles with the second wave of the pandemic, companies and sellers have been working hard to solve the oxygen crisis that hit the country in the past few weeks, particularly the supply crunch for oxygen concentrators. At the same time, concerns have been raised at different quarters about consumers getting saddled with low-quality concentrators that are sold at exorbitant prices.

The demand for oxygen concentrators had also gone up dramatically due to the non-availability of oxygen-equipped hospital beds and oxygen cylinders. With the spread now more prevalent in the tier-2 and tier-3 regions, the demand for oxygen concentrators has become more widespread beyond the top metros.

Two-pronged strategy

Sunil Khurana, CEO and MD, BPL Medical Technologies, said the company has adopted a two-pronged strategy to increase the supply of concentrators. “In the short term, we have increased imports since we only have a capacity to manufacture about 1,000 units per month. To address India’s requirements in the mid to long-term, we have licensed our technology to Bharat Electronics. BEL is expected to start manufacturing concentrators in the next couple of weeks, and we believe this will enable more consumers to have access to our world-class technology,” he added.

“While the challenges of scarcity of oxygen concentrators have come down in the country, I believe the long-term demand for concentrators will remain as consumers will continue to seek good quality concentrators due to the pandemic. Hence, my biggest worry is that a lot of spurious products are being sold by unscrupulous people, leaving the country with hundreds of tonnes of electronic garbage,” said Khurana.

Unlike central oxygen supply system or oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators do not require external supply of oxygen. They suck in ambient air, filter out nitrogen and other gases, and supply oxygen in concentrated form. Oxygen concentrators can supply oxygen of up to 95 per cent purity between 0.1 to 10 litre per minute range. Recently, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation stipulated that oxygen concentrators sold for home setting should have at least 90 per cent purity oxygen and a continuous supply of 5 litres per minute.

Global production

Daniel Mazon, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Philips Indian Subcontinent, said: “For the current demand in India for oxygen concentrators and other critical care products such as monitors and ventilators, Philips has significantly increased its global production and is making these products available in India. These products are being shipped to India in partnership with multiple governments, aviation and officials to speed up the process during this crisis situation.”

A spokesperson for Flipkart said the company is making efforts to work with its seller partners on Flipkart Marketplace to build a continuous supply of oxygen concentrators forconsumers pan-India. “Through the help of our network of sourcing and logistics partners, including reputed overseas vendors and manufacturers, Flipkart is bringing the inflow of high quality oxygen concentrators in India, as the domestic demand continues to be high and a good part of this demand is coming from tier-2 and tier-3 markets,” the company spokesperson added.

On May 15, Amazon India had also said that its global procurement teams are working with sellers to help them bring in about 9,000 oxygen concentrators for customers in India by simplifying the supply-chain complexities.

Published on May 23, 2021

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like