– There is still oxygen scarcity in Nigeria as the country continues to battle the second wave of COVID-19
– In Lagos and Abuja, authorities are finding it difficult to meet the desperate need for oxygen to keep patients stable
– Time is now running out as the number of infections and fatalities continue to swell
A report by Reuters indicates that the authorities in Nigeria are battling a second wave of infections that has caused nationwide oxygen shortages.
According to the report, hospitals in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, have come close to running out of oxygen, while demand in Lagos, the epicentre of the outbreak, has increased as much as sevenfold concerning serious concerns for Nigerian health authorities.
Lagos state health commissioner Akin Abayomi was quoted as saying in the report:
“There was a national scarcity of oxygen. We were pulling from all our normal suppliers, and finding new suppliers.”
According to him, demand for cylinders in Lagos state went from around 70 per day early last year to as high as 500 daily from November 2020.
Declan Eugene, an oxygen dealer whose company supplies hospitals in Abuja, said oxygen became very scarce in November 2020 when demand soared.
“It was a really terrible situation. And it has become a norm somehow. Tanks that we sold for 7,000 to 8,000 naira spiked to 20,000 naira.”
According to the report, demand for oxygen increased to 350 six-litre cylinders per day from 70 cylinders at the Yaba Mainland Hospital – the main health facility in Nigeria’s commercial capital treating coronavirus patients.
Legit.ng had earlier reported that President Muhammadu Buhari announced that his administration is setting up new oxygen production plants in 38 locations across Nigeria.
The president noted that the initiative is part of efforts to contain the second wave of COVID-19 which has witnessed a huge spike in infections in the last few days.
Buhari said the production plants will enhance the management of patients in need of oxygen across the country.