Gurgaon: Haryana has delivered 1,901 oxygen cylinders in all its districts since it launched a home delivery drive on May 9, much to the relief of Covid patients and their families. The highest number of home deliveries was made in Faridabad where 338 cylinders have reached patients.
In Panipat, 325 cylinders have been delivered and 153 cylinders were delivered in Gurgaon till Wednesday, according to official data.
“Allocation of oxygen to the districts is based on demand. We supplied 20 metric tonnes of oxygen during the home delivery drive on May 11. The figure was 10 metric tonnes on May 10. Currently, we have sufficient supply for home deliveries,” said Dr Amit Agrawal, the additional principal secretary to the chief minister.
One can apply for a cylinder on http://oxygenhry.in/ by clicking on “citizen oxygen requirement form”. An applicant has to select the district and fill in the patient’s details, including current oxygen level. A photo of the patient with SpO2 level has to be uploaded, along with the required size of the cylinder. Apart from this, the applicant must have an empty cylinder that can be exchanged for a loaded one.
The charges are different in each district. For Gurgaon, a B-type cylinder (10 litres) comes for Rs 80 and a D-type cylinder (47 litres approx) costs Rs 250. An applicant also has to pay Rs 100 as delivery charge.
According to official data, since May 9, 1,887 requests have been rejected, as they did not fulfil all criteria. For many residents desperately looking for oxygen cylinders, the initiative has come as a relief.
Sunit Mehta from Sushant Lok-1, Gurgaon, said his uncle needed oxygen support and he was able to arrange for a cylinder through the portal. “I filled up the form around 8 pm on May 10 and got a call at 8 am the next day with an inquiry about my requirement. A cylinder was delivered two hours after that. My uncle’s oxygen level had dropped to 90 when I applied for the cylinder. I had called up many oxygen suppliers, but none of those leads worked,” he said.
Arsheya Chaudhry, a resident of Sector 43, Gurgaon, said: “My grandfather is in coma and he got Covid. His oxygen level was 82 when I requested for home delivery of an oxygen cylinder. I applied at 6.30 pm on Monday and got a cylinder by 8 am on Tuesday.”
But getting an empty oxygen cylinder can be a challenge for many residents. Shalini Chaudhry, whose father has Covid, said: “A person is ill and suddenly, the oxygen levels drop. Most hospital beds are occupied and then we ask the authorities for an oxygen cylinder. They want to help us but the main issue is that they are asking for an empty cylinder. Where do I get that from? I can’t buy it. I can either look after my patient or run around to get an empty oxygen cylinder. Officials should consider this problem.”
Asked about the issue, an official said there are plans to set up a bank where people can get empty cylinders and the modalities are being worked out.
Liquid medical oxygen (LMO) manufactured in different plants is distributed among the districts. While large hospitals have LMO storage tanks, smaller facilities use oxygen cylinders. From the manufacturing units, oxygen is also channelled to refilling stations, which have LMO tanks. Every district has refilling stations.
For the home delivery drive, cylinders are being refilled at these stations. Various NGOs and volunteers have come forward to help out with the delivery process. The Red Cross Society has engaged 140 volunteers for the service in Gurgaon alone. “Now that I have started volunteering, my family is worried. Although we take all precautions, we know that we are going to houses where at least one person has Covid. But at this time, a lot of people need help. Our service can save a life and that inspires me every day,” said Manjeet Julana, a volunteer from Canwinn Foundation, Gurgaon.