The price of oxygen cylinders has increased by an estimated 500% in Karachi.
According to residents, there is a shortage of cylinders in the market because of which the sellers who have it are charging exorbitant prices.
Many patients diagnosed with the coronavirus develop breathing issues and require oxygen cylinders.
“Hospitals in the city are in a bad shape,” a man said.”If there are cylinders there isn’t oxygen and if there is oxygen then the cylinders are completely unaffordable,” he added.
A small oxygen tank that initially cost Rs4,000 is now being sold at Rs10,000, whereas a relatively bigger cylinder that cost Rs10,000 is now priced at Rs25,000.
According to a dealer, the prices of regulator and pulse oximeters have also increased by more than 500%. “Big companies supplying oxygen have deliberately halted their supply to create an artificial shortage in the market,” he added.
Oxygen Dealers Association Chairman Niaz Khan said that plant owners have refused to supply them oxygen as they were meeting the demand of the hospitals.
Suppliers, on the other hand, claim that due to the novel coronavirus, cylinders are not being imported into the country leading to a shortage.