Demand for medical oxygen two-fold more than production — OSNepal

Demand for medical oxygen two-fold more than production

LC (KTM) May 11, 2021 0

Kathmandu, May 11- The current demand for medical oxygen in the country is double than the production. At a press meet organised by the Covid-19 Crisis Management Centre (CCMC) here Tuesday, CCMC secretariat coordinator and secretary at the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Dr Khagaraj Baral, said the present daily demand for oxygen is 15,000 cylinders while the production is 7,200 cylinders.

Nine oxygen plants are operational at the moment. The demand for this life-saving gas has significantly increased as the country is struggling with the raging second wave of Covid-19. “The second wave has turned to be highly contagious and many infected are in need of high-flow oxygen-therapy. A patient requires up to five cylinders daily,’’ he said. As he advised, the existing gap between the demand and supply could be addressed if alternative technologies are adopted to increase the production. “We are preparing to go for electric production of oxygen and to restore old oxygen plants.”

Dr Baral further assured that liquid oxygen would be imported from aboard to deal with the crisis. The government is preparing to restore the Nepal Oil Corporation’s oxygen plant and the Kantipur oxygen plant. It has decided to seek the help of Nepali Army for repairing the plants if necessary, according to him. According to him, oxygen in the Kathmandu Valley is being brought from Pokhara, Chitwan and Bara to cope with the shortage. “We are aware towards the prevention of possible loss of life in lack of oxygen.’’

It is said the government will seek help of donors to bring the liquid oxygen which will be refilled in cylinders and distributed. Three government and three private health facilities own liquid oxygen plants and of them, those at the Shukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, National Trauma Center, Bheri Hospital and Nepalgunj Medical College are in operation. The CCMC has implemented a minimum quota system to provide this life-saving gas to hospitalised patients. It has also directed the Nepal Electricity Authority to ensure uninterrupted power supply to keep the oxygen plants operating. (RSS)

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