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Experts warn Indians of the dangers of trying to produce oxygen at home

Doctors and scientists in India warn of the terrible dangers of trying to get medical oxygen at home, as the country faces gas shortages in its battle with COVID-19, and various videos and tips on do-it-yourself methods are circulating. social media.

Google Trends data show that searches for the phrase “how to make oxygen at home”

; peaked on April 25 as the crisis worsened, while YouTube videos describing such processes garnered hundreds of thousands of views. The video showing how oxygen is obtained by methods such as electrolysis is increasing.

“There is a scientifically proven method of obtaining medical oxygen through concentrators. All other ways to try to make gas at home carry many risks, such as the chances of inhaling toxic gases and explosions,” said Ravikumar, secretary of the Indian Medical Association for South Tamil. Nadu, said Reuters.

Tarun Batnagar, a scientist at the ICMR-National Institute of Epidemiology in Chennai, called attempts to make home oxygen “untested and unreliable methods.”

“Such an approach could even be harmful if it leads to delays in finding adequate healthcare,” he told Reuters.

A man waits in front of a factory to refill his oxygen cylinder amid the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New Delhi, India, April 28, 2021. REUTERS / Adnan Abidi

While India is trying to find sources of oxygen, many hospitals are pushing patients away due to lack of gas. This has led to alleged coronavirus treatments circulating on social media, such as videos showing men inhaling steam from pressure cookers or kettles “to kill COVID infection.”

The World Health Organization says on the issue of coronavirus treatment that scientists around the world are working to find and develop treatments with COVID-19 and the agency does not recommend self-medication with any drugs such as prevention or treatment.

The Ministry of Health was not immediately available for comment.

On Thursday, the Indian government issued a public statement dismissing as “misleading” a post circulating on social media that advertised a homeopathic remedy that it claimed could immediately balance oxygen levels in patients with COVID-19.

India reported a record 386,452 new cases in the last 24 hours, while COVID-19 deaths jumped 3,498, according to the health ministry.

(This story is reworked to make the title clearer)

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