Online sales of portable oxygen cylinders soar, demand up 4 times

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CHENNAI: While people are running from pillar to post for portable oxygen cylinders for medical purposes, its online sale has seen a huge surge. Dealers say they saw demand surge by four times in the last four days. Both online and offline dealers say the price of portable O2 cylinders have gone up 20-30%.
Almost every online platform from DMart to Amazon and Flipkart have run out of stock and even when stocks are available, delivery is limited to a few pin codes. Both online and offline dealers quote a waiting period of 10-15 days for the next delivery.
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The sudden spike in demand is due to skyrocketing Covid cases across states and the resultant lack of beds. Portable oxygen cylinders are in demand especially by those who are under home quarantine and need additional medical support.

Online dealer Group Tech Industries who sells on DMart said: “We were forced to suspend our business activity and stopped working in the last four days due to non-availability of stock.” The proprietor of Coimbatore-based dealer Lifetex said: “We are open to take orders, however, we are unsure when we will be restocked with oxygen cylinders. It will take a minimum of 10-15 days for the next stock to arrive.”
Dealers also say that there has been no communication from manufacturers with regard to supply schedules. A portable O2 cylinder costs a minimum of Rs 5000. It is filled with pure natural oxygen and is easy to use with a finger operated valve.
It is available with O2 capacity of 2.7 kg, 3.4 kg, 4.9 kg and 13.5 kg and lasts for 2 hours 04 minutes, 3 hours 27 minutes, 5 hours 41 minutes, and 14 hours 21 minutes respectively. The kit includes a cylinder, valve, regulator and mask pre-filled with medical oxygen.