Hyderabad: Five out of the nine oxygen tankers, which had been airlifted to Angul in Odisha through Indian Air Force aircraft, returned to Telangana by road on Monday.

The five tankers carried over 90 metric tons of oxygen. The remaining tankers are expected to reach Telangana by Tuesday.

Of the five, three were sent to government hospitals in Hyderabad, and one each to Khammam and Karimnagar. In Hyderabad, the tankers were sent to the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences, Government General and Chest Hospital and District Hospital in King Koti.

It was learnt that eight more tankers would again be airlifted on Tuesday. The nine tankers were airlifted last week on Friday from Hyderabad to Odisha via two C­ 17 aircrafts of the Indian Air Force. The tankers were driven by Telangana State Road Transport Corporation drivers, who were also flown to Odisha.

Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender had earlier said that the State was utilizing around 260 MT of oxygen per day. He said with the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases, the usage might peak to 350 MT per day.

Put together, the nine tankers were expected to bring 150 metric tons of oxygen. This would meet half the daily requirement of around 310 metric tons in the State.

To cut down the time, the nine tankers were airlifted from Hyderabad in two IAF planes on Thursday morning. After three days, they were driven back to Hyderabad and other places. There is a severe requirement for oxygen in the state. Small private hospitals are not able to admit patients because of the unavailability of medical oxygen.

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