Devki Group has secured Sh327.75 million ($3 million) loan from Standard Chartered Bank to finance its initiatives aimed at fighting Covid-19 pandemic, including supply of oxygen cylinders to public and private hospitals.
The conglomerate said on Monday some funds were deployed to provide free oxygen cylinders at a time the country is facing shortage constraints amid a surge in demand as a result of rising hospitalisation due to third wave of Covid infections.
The loan is part of the StanChart’s Sh109.75 billion ($ 1 billion) Covid Financing global initiative, unveiled in March 2020, to help companies and households recover from the global pandemic shocks on earnings.
“We chose oxygen cylinders because we saw that many hospitals were in dire need of oxygen used to facilitate treatment for Covid-19 patients,” Devki Group Chairman Narendra Raval said in a statement.
“Our plants in Mombasa, Ruiru and Athi River remain open to hospitals and clinics who need free oxygen.”
This came as it emerged the demand for oxygen for Covid-related emergency medical care has more than doubled compared to the average for last year due to a spike in third wave of the Covid-19 infections.
Mr Mutahi Kagwe, the Cabinet secretary for Health, said demand is now hovering around 880 tonnes from 560 tonnnes in January and 410 tonnes last year.
“The situation at the moment is that the (gas manufacturing) industry is completely stretched. If we go any further than that, immediate steps will have to be taken,”Mr Kagwe said.