Nepal Police claimed it had collected nearly 9,000 oxygen cylinders hoarded by various industries, people, and businesses.

All large and small scale industries and people have been asked to hand over oxygen cylinders to the government owing to the growing demand for oxygen amid the rising COVID-19 cases in the country. Issuing multiple notices, the government had pledged to return oxygen cylinders to the industries once the pandemic was subdued. It also asked the public to return cylinders.

As per the order, many industries and people have willingly returned the cylinders. But, some of them were found to have concealed the cylinders. So far, police have collected 8,989 oxygen cylinders as per a press release of NA.

Normally, small scale industries such as gold shops, iron and welding shops, glass shops and scrap collectors that use oxygen have not returned the cylinders.

Large industries which need high fire also use oxygen cylinders.

Most of the cylinders confiscated by police were retrieved from small scale industries.

The government said the country needed more than 15,000 oxygen cylinders to support COVID-19 patients. With the seizure of oxygen cylinders from police, it is estimated that the available oxygen cylinders will be enough if the demand doesn't exceed supply.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 18, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.