–says Health Minister
MINISTER of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, has said that there is no shortage of oxygen supply at any of the COVID-19 facilities, as the ministry has been working closely with suppliers to prevent shortages, even with the constant rise in the number of persons being hospitalised.
“So far, we haven’t had an issue with oxygen because we have been working with the oxygen company to make sure that we have adequate supplies of oxygen. We’ve had several meetings between ourselves and the company and we have taken some additional measures of increasing the capacity, the oxygen capacity at the Ocean View facility,” Minister Anthony said during Thursday’s edition of the daily COVID-19 update.
Dr. Anthony affirmed that various measures and precautions were in place at the COVID-19 facilities. He also noted that there were “several other backup plans” in cases of emergency and, as such, the Health Ministry has anticipated no oxygen shortage.
“Previously, we were utilising a 1000-pound cylinders of oxygen and we’ve had several of them. We have now put in a bulk tank that was specially designed and brought into the country to cater for such needs, so that tank right now we replenish every 24 hours and so that is providing us right now with the types of oxygen supply that we need,” Dr. Anthony said.
Minister Anthony said a consultant from PAHO/WHO, who was in the country, had assisted the health ministry in analysing oxygen needs in all the regional hospitals across the country.
“Based on those recommendations, those that were falling short in terms of how many oxygen tanks they should have, we have been able to start those corrective measures. We have been very proactive in how we’ve been addressing oxygen and making sure that we have adequate supplies,” the Health Minister said.
But even with systems in place to tackle the pandemic, Minister Anthony said the continuous rise in active cases and hospitalisations are concerning. Some 139 persons are currently hospitalised with 31 patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
“We have about 3,092 active cases across the country, and, in every region, we’ve seen an increase in cases; over the last 24 hours, we have had 135 new cases, that’s after doing 1,158 tests,” the minister said.
Minister Anthony reiterated that the public plays an important part in preventing the spread of the deadly COVID-19. He said persons need to be cautious by wearing their masks, practising social distancing, getting vaccinated and sanitising frequently.