The Ministry of Health and Population has requested people not to keep oxygen cylinders at home unless recommended by the doctors.

The health ministry has asked the people not to hoard cylinders in homes and has requested them to deposit the cylinders to the nearby hospitals or local level offices.

Issuing another notice today, the health ministry has also requested oxygen manufacturers and suppliers to supply the oxygen to the hospitals as usual until the further notice.

It has also requested the suppliers to co-operate with the local levels and concerned agencies for emergency management of oxygen as per the decision made by the Ministry of Health and Population.

Earlier, the government had directed the manufacturers not to sell or distribute medical oxygen cylinders without the permission of the government.

The health ministry has also urged the general public to contact the hotline numbers 9851310581 and 9851310584 and send mail at heoc1133@gmail.com for the management of oxygen.

With the rise in the number of coronavirus cases across the country, there has been an acute shortage of the live saving oxygen. For lack of oxygen many hospitals in the capital are refusing admission to COVID patients.

As per the Ministry of Health and Population, the demand for oxygen is 14,000 to 15,000 cylinders per day, but oxygen plants in Kathmandu can refill only 8,000 cylinders. About 2,000 cylinders are being refilled by oxygen plants installed in hospitals.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 15, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.