ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to import 6,000 tons of oxygen with a view to dealing with any emergency as the number of critical care Covid-19 patients on oxygen beds in the country has witnessed an increase of 57 percent as compared to what it was in June 2020. This was stated by the Chairman National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Asad Umar here in a series of tweets.
He said Pakistan currently has 5,360 critically ill coronavirus patients on medical oxygen, adding that the number of oxygen bad patients is 57 percent higher as compared with June last year.
He said the government is continuing to build capacity and the NCOC has decided to import 6,000 tons of oxygen, 5,000 cylinders and 20 cryogenic tanks.
“Continuing to build capacity, it was decided to import 6,000 tons oxygen, 5,000 cylinders and 20 cryogenic tanks,” he said in another tweet.
In his final tweet, he stated: “However, the challenge is not over and in fact is continuing to increase. The need for precautions and following SOPs is vital at this point in time. Next few weeks are critical. No system can cope if we allow the disease to spread rapidly. May Allah be with us and protect us.”
Umar reiterated the need for precautions and implementation of coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs), while giving a detailed explanation of the current status of oxygen production, supply and availability in Pakistan for the coronavirus patients.
However, Pakistan has so far managed to cope with this current surge due to proactively building capacity of the entire system, from oxygen production to beds, the NCOC chief maintained.
Giving an update on the oxygen production situation in Pakistan and the number of oxygen cylinders imported last year, he said, “Total oxygen production operational capacity in Pakistan last year was 487 tons/day. It has been increased to 798 tons. Oxygen production has gone up from 465 tons/day last June to 725 tons currently. We also imported 19,200 oxygen cylinders last year to ensure distribution.”
“Despite there being more than 2,000 additional Covid-19 patients on oxygen as compared with last June peak, you have not seen the kind of tight supply situation we saw last June,” Umar wrote.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021