BACOLOD CITY – The Negros Occidental provincial government is set to increase the production of medical oxygen to meet the high demand in Capitol-run hospitals treating coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients.
The province owns and operates an oxygen plant near the Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City.
“We are stepping up our production. We are also upgrading (the plant). We have added manpower, including a mechanical engineer, and workers for the transport of oxygen tanks,” Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz II said in an interview on Tuesday.
On Monday, Diaz joined Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson in visiting the plant, which is targeted to produce 180 50-lb. tanks daily from the current production of up to 70 tanks.
He said for the upgrade, the province has procured a technology that will allow the plant to produce more medical oxygen daily.
“There is a technology that will be infused to increase production. Our target is 180 tanks per day. We are just waiting for the documents from the engineering office so we can immediately purchase it, [which could be] through emergency purchase. Because of our situation now, it is allowed,” Diaz said.
To ensure available supply at any given time, Diaz said the provincial government has also procured about PHP5-million worth of medical oxygen supply.
“[It will] augment our oxygen plant production. In case it will not be enough, there will be available supply. We already have a purchase order. The suppliers [will] be informed the soonest time possible so they can already start delivery to the hospitals,” he added.
The provincial government has designated the Cadiz District Hospital in the north and the Valladolid District Hospital in the south as Covid-19 treatment facilities.
“There is high demand for oxygen. The hospitals are full in Valladolid and Cadiz. We are hoping to cope with the demand especially for those with moderate and severe symptoms,” Diaz said.
As of Sept. 13, Negros Occidental has a total of 24,696 cases, including 1,994 active cases; 22,036 recoveries; and 666 deaths, data of the Provincial Incident Management Team showed. (PNA)