May 9: Hospitals in the capital are struggling to meet the demand for oxygen due to the increase in number of coronavirus patients. The scarcity of oxygen is getting extreme due to the sudden rise in number of patients with critical condition.
It has been learnt that the hospitals in the capital at present are able to meet only 50 percent of the demand for oxygen. Vice Chairman of the Association of Private Health Institutes of Nepal Dr Kumar Thapa says that there are high chances of situation getting out of control if the government does not supply oxygen in the coming days.
According to Dr Thapa, they are struggling to provide oxygen support to patients with severe cases of Covid-19. He further said that patients in critical condition require at least five cylinders of oxygen per day.
Kathmandu-based HAMS, Alka Hospital, Nidan Hospital and other hospitals in Bhaktapur have reported scarcity of oxygen. They have started referring patients with severe case of Covid-19 elsewhere in lack of sufficient oxygen, according to doctors working at those hospitals.
There are altogether 31 oxygen plants in operation in the country including the Kathmandu Valley. Meanwhile, hospitals are currently using 6,300 cylinders of oxygen. But the demand for oxygen has outnumbered the available oxygen.
The Nepal Medical Association has urged the government to ensure smooth supply of oxygen. Issuing a statement on Saturday, the NMA requested the government to immediately address the problem.
Stating that the lack of sufficient oxygen has been causing problems in admission of new patients, General Secretary of NMA Bari Rijal urged the concerned bodies to ensure oxygen supply and beds for Covid-19 patients.
Meanwhile, health authorities have said that the government has already started managing supply of oxygen. Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population Dr Jageshwar Gautam said that the government has initiated the process of importing oxygen cylinders from China to ensure smooth supply of oxygen to the hospitals.