The Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) employees have demanded the government to reactivate a Steel Mills oxygen plant, holding the capacity to produce 520 tons of pure oxygen daily, it was reported on Sunday. The majority of the 40 engineers and workers working on the oxygen plant were removed from their jobs. The workers claimed that the oxygen plant can be made fully functional within a week on a war footing and can meet the oxygen demand of the whole country.
The development comes as Pakistan continues to head towards suffering a similar “catastrophic” scenario as India due to the worsening 3rd COVID-19 wave. The hospitals are running out of Oxygen and seeking more cylinders to treat the growing number of Covid-19 patients. The oxygen manufacturers have also warned of an acute shortage of life-saving oxygen gas like India if the government didn’t take immediate action.
“We are currently producing the gas at our maximum capacity, and the continued supply of oxygen to industries can [soon] affect the health sector,” they warned.
Crisis looms large over major hospitals in Pakistan as they approach saturation due to rising Covid-19 cases. On April 18, the situation became critical at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), when ventilators reserved for coronavirus patients began sounding alarms. The ventilator alarms are triggered when the pressure of oxygen being supplied to a patient drops below the required level. On that day, it dropped from 100% to 70%. The largest medical facility in Islamabad is reportedly struggling with low oxygen pressure amidst a tidal wave of Covid-19 patients.