As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Maharashtra, two friends, Shahnawaz Hussain and Abbas Rizvi, are providing free oxygen cylinders to coronavirus patients and other patients with respiratory problems in Mumbai amidst the pandemic.
The idea of providing free oxygen cylinders to people free of cost came after Abbas Rizvi lost his six-month pregnant cousin as she was not able to get oxygen support.
"My cousin who was six-month pregnant passed away due to lack of oxygen support. It was then that we realised what kind of problem people are facing in getting oxygen support," he said.
He added that Shahnawaz Hussain also sold his SUV car to meet the growing demand for cylinders.
Shahnawaz Hussain, 31, said that during the pandemic, people are struggling to find beds and oxygen in hospitals across the city.
"Seeing the situation of hospitals across the city, we have decided to provide oxygen cylinders to whoever is in urgent need of them. We are not disseminating on the basis poor or rich, Hindu, or Muslim. Whoever is coming to us with a doctor's prescription, we simply deliver the oxygen cylinder to them anywhere in Mumbai," he explained.
As of now, both of them have supplied between 250-300 oxygen cylinders. The oxygen tanks are provided for a duration of 48 hours free of cost.
On average, Abbas Rizvi said that the requirement for cylinders is usually more during night time and at least 10-15 cylinders are lent to people on a daily basis.
As of Tuesday, 3,214 new COVID-19 cases and 248 deaths were reported in Maharashtra, the worst-hit state by the pandemic, on Tuesday.
According to the Public Health Department, the total positive cases in the state climbed to 1,39,010, including 69,631 recoveries and 6,531 deaths.
As many as 1,925 patients have been discharged in Maharashtra.