There is no shortage of oxygen required to provide treatment for COVID-19 patients and sufficient supplies have been maintained, Health Services Director General Dr. Asela Gunawardena said yesterday (27).
Dr. Gunawardena in a statement noted that a national newspaper and the social media had reported that there was a shortage of oxygen for COVID-19 patients at the Kalubowila Hospital and that patients’ lives were at risk.
Commenting on this, Dr. Gunawardena said that there is no shortage of oxygen at the Kalubowila Hospital. The local oxygen suppliers are committed to providing more than the required amount of oxygen and COVID-19 Treatment Hospitals and Teaching Hospitals are provided with oxygen in large cylinders.
Deputy Director General of Health Services (Medical Services) Dr. Lal Panapitiya said they have taken action to provide oxygen to all hospitals and treatment centres. “Hospital authorities have been informed about this. Both major oxygen suppliers have informed the Director General of Health Services that they have more capacity than needed. The oxygen supply to hospitals is systematic,” he said.
Dr. Gunawardena said the number of COVID positive cases has seen an increase in the aftermath of the Sinhala and Tamil New year.
“The conduct of the public during the festive season, disregarding the repeated requests by the health authorities to comply with COVID-19 heath guidelines has led to this situation,” he said.
He said that the COVID-19 currently spreading in the country is a novel variant and the percentage of patients showing symptoms is high.
There is tendency that more youths are getting infected with the virus. “The youth show symptoms of respiratory distress and they need oxygen.
The people should act with responsibility as the capacity in the Intensive Care Units, Hospitals and Intermediate Treatment Centres is limited,” he added. Dr. Gunawardena said people in the City and suburbs are wearing face masks but fewer people are wearing masks in villages.
He said that there is a spike of positive cases in rural areas.