|NIPPON SANSO Việt Nam, one of HCM City’s five suppliers of liquid oxygen. Supply of oxygen is currently unable to meet demand from hospitals treating COVID-19 patients. – VNA Photo|
HCM CITY – HCM City wants the Government to help increase the supply of liquid oxygen to treat COVID-19 patients since it is unable to procure enough for its hospitals.
Lê Hòa Bình, deputy chairman of city People’s Committee, wants the Ministry of Industry and Trade to reduce the supply to steel manufacturers in the next three months to ensure there is sufficient medical oxygen.
At the peak of the pandemic, the city had 11 suppliers with a capacity of around 842 tonnes of liquid oxygen per day, but only needed 380 tonnes.
However, most of them, based in the city or nearby provinces, are now producing industrial oxygen mainly for steel manufacturers, with several stopping production of medical oxygen.
Only five businesses still supplying the city and only around 150 tonnes.
Due to the rising number of COVID patients, its medical facilities need around 170 tonnes a day now, and the demand is expected to rise to 350 tonnes in the near future.
Since the start of December several hospitals have been struggling to source oxygen.
“There is a high risk of medical oxygen shortage in the near future,” Bình said.
According to the People’s Committee, the total capacity of the remaining producers is around 542 tonnes, and so demand for medical oxygen can be met if they reduce supply to industrial users.
Oxygen is one of the key requirements for treating COVID patients, and cities and provinces are frequently instructed to ensure sufficient supply.
The Ministry of Health has called on medical oxygen suppliers in the south to increase production.
The number of new daily COVID cases and deaths in HCM City has been on the rise since it reopened its economy on October 1. – VNS