Various independent youth groups are also campaigning to collect oxygen cylinders for those requiring treatment, either at home or hospital. Activists have taken to social media offering help, and circulating contact numbers of those who can.
The ‘100s Group’ that has been organising feeding programs for the disabled and jobless during the lockdown for the past year, has mobilised volunteers to locate oxygen cylinders and take it to patients.
They have been searching quarries, welding workshops and other industrial oxygen users in Kathmandu Valley for cylinders, refilling them, and delivering them to sick patients.
The reason for the shortage of cylinders is that many hospitals and care centres are stockpiling them in case of emergency need. The government has told industries using oxygen to either stop or cut its use so there will be more for Covid-19 patients, but there is still a lot of hoarding.
‘Politicians are safe in their homes while youth are out and about risking their lives trying to find and then distribute oxygen cylinders,’ wrote Bablu Gupta Nepali of the 100s Group on his Facebook page. “We know that we could get infected but someone else’s life is also life.”