Nations Unite to Battle the Indian Oxygen Crisis

The oxygen shortage crisis in India has made headlines across the globe. Although the situation in the hospitals is devastating, the rallying cry for help has seen many nations unite and support India to battle against the rise in COVID-19 cases.    

The international industrial gas community has come together and are making monumental efforts to get this much needed oxygen to the hospitals in India. Companies such as Linde India are ramping up production to over 9,000 tonnes per day which is around 9 times the usual amount required. They are also battling a logistics crisis to get the oxygen to Northern, Southern and Western areas which have been hit the hardest. Linde is uniting with rail network companies to get the required infrastructure in place as soon as possible. 

There has also been great support from various armed forces. The USA dispatched a Super Galaxy military transporter with more than 400 oxygen cylinders and 1 million rapid COVID-19 tests. The German military has also been working around the clock to provide India with a support package including: large mobile oxygen plants, ventilators and masks. 

This type of solidarity in times of crisis is amazing to see and makes Analox even prouder to be part of the gas community. 

The Analox team is currently in the process of manufacturing safety critical oxygen monitoring systems to donate to the hospitals in most need. The Safe-Ox+ units will alarm if there are any oxygen leaks. This prevents wastage and ensures a stable supply of oxygen to the patients. Just as important, it keeps everyone safe from other risks associated with enriched oxygen such as hyperoxia, fire and explosions. 

Analox Safe Ox+

These systems will help prevent tragedies like that faced at the Zakir Hussain hospital on 21st April where 22 patients died due to an oxygen leak.

Analox has partners in India such as Linde and Plasto Crafts, who are surrounded by the daily despair caused by the pandemic and lack of resources to battle against it. They are doing everything they can to support the hospitals. 

Vikram Apte - Director of Plasto Crafts reached out to Analox requesting us to help by using our network to raise awareness of how desperate this situation has become and to request help from anyone else who can support this cause, in a bid to save lives.

Becca Dodds, Analox Group BDM, met with Vikram to discuss the situation in more detail and find out how we can help: 

How would you explain the crisis in India at the moment? 

“Firstly, I would like to say that it is a very, very wonderful thought and gesture, for you to donate oxygen monitors to us in our time of need. We really appreciate that, even sitting so far away, you have the sensitivity to help, so thank you very much on behalf of everybody here. 

The situation on the ground is not great, there is a shortage of oxygen everywhere. They are trying to ramp up supply within the country and from global suppliers. There is also a shortage of testing and vaccines, so there is a constant battle going on. Rural areas are suffering the worst as they don’t have the same level of infrastructure that is available in the metro cities. 

People are dying needlessly, people dare not leave their homes, there are lockdowns everywhere and people have not been able to go to work for over a year now, it's like a dystopian nightmare. 

How does it make you feel, seeing all of this, people coming together and the heartbreak at the hospitals?

It is heartbreaking but we are strong and we are trying to stay positive, we will pull through. The fact that the global community is offering us so much support is heart warming and we are so grateful. The issues here in India are the same as those experienced in many other countries across the world, but it is magnified here due to the sheer size of our population. We are over 1.5 billion people and like most other places in the world we were simply not prepared for this global pandemic. 

We have some of the best engineers in the world and we are ramping up fast. This will also highlight to our Government the need for more spending in the healthcare sector, particularly for the importance of oxygen. We love that a company like Analox is taking the time to write about this need, forget that we are all in this business, health care is crucial and managing and monitoring oxygen supply will help us ensure that never again a disaster like this hits us so hard. 

Change must come, but, it is like digging a well after you need water in the desert, it's going to take time before the water seeps in. This is where the foreign aid really helps, we just need to ensure we have excellent administration to get the equipment and supplies to the most critical areas.  It is a mammoth task. 

What support can Plasto Crafts offer to the hospitals?

Our collaboration with Analox is critical. We are working with India's best hospitals like TATA Memorial Hospital to get the safety critical oxygen monitoring in place and to get the process gas analyzers into the VSA (Vacuum Swing Adsorption) plants that are currently being built to ensure the quality and purity of the oxygen being produced. 

We have also created a business consortium with a team from First Sourcels that includes Madhavi Changanti and Suren Dixit. We’ve been collaborating with architects and lab designers since the pandemic began and have designed a mobile BSL2 (Biosafety Levels 2) virology lab. This has been funded by the Gates Foundation and approved by the ICMR, department of biotechnology. This mobile lab will be able to get the support needed in rural areas or it can simply be set up in a hospital car park as an extension of the hospital. 

It will be able to carry out 1000 tests per day and will also be used for vaccinations. It has got the latest technology from around the world from global companies like Thermo Fisher, who are the best in the business. We are also looking at using the Analox Air Quality Guardian to monitor the ventilation within the mobile lab. 

As well as supporting India with these mobile labs we are also receiving enquiries globally from countries such as Nigeria, the Middle East and the UK. 

These are not just for COVID support, it can cover any future testing, such as the zika virus or any other types of virus and viral diseases. 

Is there a way the public or companies can donate money to this cause? 

Yes, UNICEF has a donations page, just £50 could help pay for a life saving oxygen generator. 

Becca commented “Our hearts go out to the people of India, it really is a devastating time. Saving lives is at the heart of what we do and Analox vows to do all we can to help battle this crisis and help to protect the courageous medical teams and patients requiring this critical care. 

If you have equipment you can donate, please get in contact as we can help facilitate getting this to the hospitals via our partners in India. 

If anyone is in need of safety advice, monitoring or process gas analyzers for air separation unit plants or pressure swing adsorption systems please reach out to us for support”.

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Plasto Crafts Industries Pvt.Ltd Company Bio

Plasto Crafts is engaged in the manufacture and marketing of high speed laboratory centrifuges as well as markets MVE Cryopreservation products and Analox Group gas sensors on an all India basis. The company caters to the private and public market, as well as hospitals, where different gases are being used for various applications. Plasto Crafts in association with Analox, is aiming to make facilities secure, with world class gas detection products.