A parked tempo containing twelve oxygen cylinders and seven acetylene cylinders was stolen in Chakan on Saturday. The cylinders were supposed to be delivered to private COVID-19 hospitals, said the police.
The vehicle’s owner Babulal Choudhary has filed an FIR with Chakan police. He said that he had parked the vehicle outside his residence on Friday night, and found it missing when he woke up the next morning. The police said that Choudhary delivers oxygen cylinders to hospitals every day after collecting them from private producers in the Chakan MIDC area. Upon primary investigation, they found that the tempo was stolen between 2 AM and 8 AM on Saturday.
Inspector Balaji Sontakke of the Chakan police said that there is a high demand for oxygen cylinders due to the ongoing pandemic. Adequate oxygen support, along with a wide array of medicines is essential to the treatment of COVID-19. “We have asked hospitals in and around Chakan to alert us if any person approaches them with an offer to sell oxygen cylinders,” added Sontakke.
According to Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) reports, the city’s total case count rose to 1,19,657 cases with nearly 2,800 deaths. The rising number of cases has caused a high demand for medical oxygen cylinders in hospitals. The PMC has formed special teams to oversee and coordinate the supply of these cylinders between oxygen manufacturers and medical institutions. Companies in MIDC have been allowed to use 20 per cent of their total output, while the rest of it has been allotted to hospitals for medical use.