Amid rise in demand, Cebu’s supply of medical oxygen remains stable
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Supply of medical oxygen in Cebu remains stable, local officials said.
The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) assured the public that there is no shortage of medical oxygen here amid an increase in demand from patients suspected and confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19.
“We do not see the shortage. We have an inventory, and we have collected the regional need for oxygen,” said Dr. Jaime Bernadas, DOH -7 director.
“We have instructed the different hospitals to have the buffer stocks… So far, wala pang nakikitang shortage,” he added.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, on the other hand, is also set to meet suppliers of oxygen for medical use in the province.
Garcia said in a recent press briefer that the supply of oxygen in the province, particularly in provincial hospitals, is still sufficient to respond to the current demand.
“But we have told our chiefs of hospitals that we might be augmenting their supply. We will be distributing 50 additional oxygen tanks in all our four provincial hospitals. So that’s a total of 200,” said Garcia in Cebuano.
The governor also said they will be holding a meeting with oxygen suppliers here to ensure that they can still deploy tanks to priority sectors, particularly hospitals and medical institutions.
“I’ll be meeting with the different oxygen suppliers in the province. To see to it that our resources will not be depleted, and that hospitals should be given priority,” Garcia explained.
COVID-19 cases all over Cebu continue to increase, most likely due to the presence of the highly transmissible Delta variant (tagged as B.1.167.2) that first emerged in India earlier this year.
DOH-7, however, is still probing if there is a sustained community transmission of the mutated SARS-CoV-2 virus here.
Aside from hospitals running out of COVID beds, oxygen tanks for medical use have been selling fast.
All 38 oxygen tanks from a pharmacy located within close proximity of Cebu’s two largest hospitals – Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Sotto (VSMMC) and Chong Hua Hospital – were sold out in a span of a few hours on Monday.
Bernadas, in the meantime, cautioned individuals who purchased, and are still planning to buy, oxygen tanks for home use.
“Please do that very carefully, and should be with medical personnel supervision. Oxygen is flammable, and can cause a greater risk of accidents rather than protecting our COVID patients. Oxygen is flammable and therefore more dangerous when we put them in our homes,” he pointed out. / dcb
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