Covid care devices face bigger shortage, rate hike



Writankar Mukherjee | Chaitali Chakravarty | The Economic Times

There may be an even bigger shortage over the next seven days in critical Covid home care equipment, especially oxygen concentrators and pulse oximeters, that are largely imported from China.

Companies and importers are saying most cargo flights from China and Hong Kong to India are getting cancelled at the last moment delaying the arrival of their ready-to-ship consignments.

Among reasons for cargo flight disruptions are, as per Indian suppliers, attempts at price gouging by Chinese logistics and manufacturing companies as well as the basic economics of cargo flights – most return flights to China are going empty as many businesses that export products to China are shut.

Industry expects supply shortage to ease after China’s long Labour Day holiday period – May 1 to May 5 – ends but somewhat higher supplies will be accompanied by much higher prices.

Chinese manufacturers are hiking prices citing shortage in component supplies in the last couple of days. Prices of oxygen concentrators, which cost between Rs 40,000 and Rs 60,000 – will go up by Rs 8,000-15,000 from next week, while the price of pulse oximeters will likely almost double.

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