WHO urges PH to prepare oxygen supplies amid threat of Delta variant
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines should prepare additional oxygen supplies in anticipation of an increase in COVID-19 cases due to the threat of the Delta variant, the World Health Organization’s Philippine representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said Tuesday.
Apart from the quarantine measures already being implemented by the government, Abeyasinghe said mobilizing oxygen supplies is necessary to address possible high demand seen by neighboring countries.
“We need to see how we can mobilize additional oxygen sources because we’ve seen the Delta variant has caused significant demand in many countries initially India, now Indonesia, Myanmar, we’ve seen that hospitals are running short of oxygen supplies,” Abeyasinghe said in a televised briefing.
“We need to also prepare for the eventuality that we will need more oxygen supplies so we can better care for our patients,” he added.
Abeyasinghe also stressed the importance of focusing the vaccination on senior citizens and persons with comorbidities who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight strategically focusing the vaccines on the elderly and the comorbid because we have clearly seen the countries that did this, even though there were increases in the number of cases, hospital systems were able to cope,” Abeyasinghe said.
“There were no overwhelming of hospitals because oftentimes the infection in younger people does not require hospitalization or intensive care support,” he went on.
The Philippines has so far detected 216 Delta variant cases, 165 of which were tagged as local cases.
In a bid to reduce transmission of the Delta variant, Metro Manila will be placed under enhanced community quarantine starting this Friday, August 6 until August 20.
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