Oxygen plant for ‘COVID’ Hospital soon – Health Minister

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The government has procured an oxygen plant to help support the country’s COVID-19 response, Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony revealed on Wednesday.

The use of medical oxygen is critical for the treatment of persons hospitalised with COVID-19, however, the current consumption of oxygen at the Infectious Diseases Hospital at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown, is proving to be costly for the Health Ministry, Dr. Anthony said during his daily COVID-19 update.

There are currently 136 people hospitalised with the virus and of this number 81 patients require oxygen.

“We are expecting to have an oxygen plant coming in shortly that we will be setting up at the Ocean View Facility so that we can self-generate our own oxygen. That would help to reduce the amount of oxygen that we have to purchase on a daily basis,” the Health Minister explained.

An aerial view of the the National Infectious Diseases Hospital at Liliendaal, Georgetown [Photo: DPI]
The government has also been working to prevent shortages of oxygen with the rise in the number of people being hospitalised.

In anticipation of a COVID-19 surge in Guyana, the Ministry of Health requested technical support from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to assess the oxygen supply infrastructure in regional hospitals and propose measures to scale up the distribution of oxygen.

A consultant from PAHO, Lucio De Magalhaes Brito visited Guyana in August to analyse the medical oxygen supply capacities in hospitals across the country.

Mr Lucio recommended a comprehensive approach to re-structuring oxygen supply and, in some cases upgrading health services in these regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine.  Access to these hospitals in the hinterland regions proved challenging due to rough terrain, Mr Lucio reported.

Meanwhile, to date, 364, 208 (71 per cent) of adults received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 215, 553 (42 per cent) are fully vaccinated.

In terms of vaccination in children 25, 356 (34.8 per cent) received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and 14, 919 (19.1 per cent) are fully vaccinated.

The Pfizer vaccine, which is being rolled out in children aged 12 to 18, has also being extended to pregnant and breastfeeding women.

There are currently 16 pregnant women hospitalised at the Infectious Diseases Hospital and at the Georgetown Public Hospital with the virus. VID-19 cases with the majority in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) and Region Four (Mahaica-Berbice).

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