Bangladesh has received the first consignment of medical oxygen from India in two and a half months amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Linde Bangladesh imported 190 tonnes of oxygen from India in two days, said Mamun Kabir Tarafder, a deputy director at Benapole Land Port in Jashore.
Zillur Rahman, a representative of Linde, said they had not received any oxygen from India since Apr 21 after the country stopped export to meet its own demand amid a devastating second wave of coronavirus infections.
Now the situation has improved in India. It reported 39,796 new COVID-19 cases with 723 deaths in daily counts on Friday.
The daily infections had increased to as high as 400,000 with 4,000 deaths during the peak of the wave.
Zillur said now oxygen will come from India daily.
Motiar Rahman, owner of Sarathi Enterprise which was clearing a 90-tonne oxygen consignment at the land port on Monday, said the customs formalities would be completed quickly because oxygen is listed as emergency good.
Azizur Rahman, commissioner at Benapole Customs, also said they have been instructed to complete the formalities quickly.
Bangladesh is now facing a rapid surge in coronavirus cases and deaths. The government reported record 164 deaths from COVID-19 in a day on Monday. The caseload also jumped by an all-time high of 9,964 infections.
On Jun 30, several patients reportedly died at the COVID-dedicated Satkhira Medical College Hospital amid a shortage of medical oxygen at the facility.
The authorities have launched an investigation into the incident as a rise in demand has been reported from other parts of the country as well.