Home » Steel tycoon Narendra Raval pledges free oxygen cylinders for COVID-19 patients in Kenya

Steel tycoon Narendra Raval pledges free oxygen cylinders for COVID-19 patients in Kenya

by Editorial Team

In a recent appeal to the public, Kenya’s Health Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has identified the hoarding of empty oxygen cylinders by private companies and individuals as an obstacle in the fight against COVID-19 in Kenya. Hospitals are running out of oxygen in the East African country.

Kagwe took to Twitter to appeal to those holding cylinders to return them to manufacturers, so they can refill and use them in hospitals.

While the government grapples with the surge in COVID-19 cases, multimillionaire steel tycoon Narendra Raval has pledged to offer free oxygen cylinders to the government to help in the fight against the pandemic, Cape Talk revealed.

Popularly known as “Guru,” Raval is the founder of Devki Group, the largest steel product manufacturer in East and Central Africa. The group has interests in aluminum and cement, producing reinforcement bars and barbed wire. The steel manufacturer relies heavily on the use of oxygen in its production processes. 

In a post, Britannica wrote that more than half the world’s steel is produced in the basic oxygen process, which uses pure oxygen to convert a charge of liquid blast-furnace iron and scrap into steel. This puts Raval in an ideal position to help the country.  

In March, Bloomberg cited Kagwe as stating during a televised briefing that the oxygen demand has more than doubled to 880 tons per month from 410 tons before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Although Kenya has 50,000 medical oxygen cylinders, only 60 percent of them are in circulation, Cape Talk further reported.

BOC Gases Managing Director Gathoga-Mwangi said many cylinders that could be used for medical purposes are likely either lying fallow in hospital storerooms, or have been converted for industrial uses such as welding.

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