Egypt Watch

Government debt of EGP 2 billion caused the oxygen crisis

A source in the Federation of Egyptian Industries said that the recent crisis in medical oxygen supply has resulted from the high demand on the one hand, and the governmental delay in paying EGP 2 billion dues to suppliers on the other hand. He indicated that the government is to pay half of the dues in order to resolve the crisis. The source, who spoke to Almanassa news website, explained that some companies had stopped supplying until they are paid, while others have continued, recognising the sensitivity of the situation. “The Treasury Minister Mohamed Maait instructed the university and public hospitals to pay half of the dues immediately, and the other one is to be paid by the treasury’s surplus in the end of the fiscal year,” said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “We are still waiting for the payment,” he added.

Over the past few weeks, the shortage of oxygen has caused incidents of mass deaths of COVID-19 patients in isolation hospitals. The government denied the crisis initially before it had to admit it under pressure.