Gov’t in talks with firms to boost oxygen tank production — DOH
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is in talks with three manufacturers of oxygen tanks to increase production as it assured the public that there is still sufficient supply of the product, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online media forum that the DOH had surveyed hospitals and infirmaries about their need for oxygen tanks. But she didn’t say when they sat down and did the survey.
“Base sa numero, it (supply of oxygen tanks) is enough. It is sufficient sa ngayon sa current number ng mga kaso natin,” she said.
(By the current numbers, the oxygen tanks are sufficient. These are enough for the current COVID-19 cases.)
Among the over 1,000 hospitals surveyed, three or 0.25 percent said they had experienced oxygen shortages at least once per day, 15 percent at least once per week and 63 percent at least once per month, while 943 or 77.75 percent said they did not experience any shortage, according to Vergeire.
Yet among the infirmaries, only 2 percent or 0.37 percent reported shortages at least once daily; 19 percent or 3.48 percent reported shortages weekly, and 54 percent or 9.89 percent reported shortages monthly, while 364 percent reported no shortage of supplies.
According to Vergeire, health facilities in the country use roughly 14,000 oxygen tanks per day. Metro Manila alone uses about 5,300 oxygen tanks per day.
Vergeire said the DOH had forwarded this data to the DTI, which had already talked to three huge manufacturers of oxygen tanks in Cebu, Calamba in Laguna, and Taguig City on how to produce more oxygen tanks for future needs.
“May pag-uusap na on how we can generate more oxygen so we can be ready and we can prepare our health system if in case, and hopefully not, na magkaroon tayo ng mas mataas na pangangailangan para sa oxygen supply,” she added.
(There are discussions already on how we can generate more oxygen tanks so we can be ready and we can prepare our health system if in case, and hopefully not, we will have a big spike in oxygen demand.)
The DOH earlier advised suppliers to regulate the sale of oxygen tanks to prevent a shortage in hospitals amid the recent surge of COVID-19 cases.
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