DOH exploring ways to maintain oxygen supply as COVID-19 cases rise


Posted at Aug 14 2021 01:17 PM

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MANILA— The Department of Health is exploring ways to maintain its oxygen supply as COVID-19 cases increase, driving up demand for oxygen tanks. 

In a public press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they are consulting experts on how to efficiently maintain oxygen supply, which is a vital part of COVID-19 care in medical facilities, especially hospitals. 

An innovation they are looking at is a suggestion for a "one source" oxygen tank which could be connected to multiple COVID-19 patients. 

Vergeire also shunned the need for oxygen stations that India has implemented after it went through a COVID-19 health care crisis earlier in the year due to the fast-spreading Delta variant.

"Sa ngayon, hindi pa natin 'yan tinitingnang plano pa for our hospitals and even in the community. Atin pong pinapalawak ang atin pong pagpo-provide ng assistance and hospitals should be able to have sufficient supply for this," Vergeire said. 

(We are not looking into that yet.) 

India, where the Delta COVID-19 variant was first detected, bore the brunt of the more transmissible strain as hospitals went full and oxygen tanks were depleted. 

Indonesia also went through the same, with the Philippines donating some supplies of oxygen when the neighboring country went through an outbreak in the middle of June. 

Local health authorities earlier reiterated that there is sufficient supply of oxygen tanks, as they expect demand to rise with the increase in COVID-19 cases. 

The DOH is also willing to provide assistance to health care facilties who have run out of oxygen supply. 

Earlier, the Food and Drug Administration warned against storing oxygen tanks at home, saying these are more combustible than LPG tanks.