LAGOS State government has opened a 300-cylinder-a-day oxygen plant at the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) in Yaba as part of its ongoing battle against the coronavirus pandemic as the numbers of infected people continues to rise.
Although Nigeria has been spared the worst of the global pandemic virus, the country has seen 103,000 cases, of which there have been 1,373 unfortunate deaths. However, with the virus now mutating and the emergence of several new strains, numbers are rising worldwide and Lagos State, which has been the epicentre of the pandemic in the country is responding to the new threat.
Professor Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State health commissioner, activated the new facility yesterday amid the increasing demand for oxygen at the isolation centre. Pointing out that a second wave of coronavirus is sweeping across the globe, he noted that the deployment and activation of the oxygen plant are in furtherance of the commitment of the state government to effectively respond to the pandemic.
Opening the facility, the commissioner explained that the increased demand for oxygen to treat Covid-19 patients as the second wave arrives, necessitated it. While noting that the oxygen plant was built in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Professor Abayomi explained that the oxygen from the newly installed plant would be administered to patients through cylinders made available at hospital wards.
Professor Abayomi said: “We recognised the importance of generating oxygen because of the large number of patients who are currently on admission in our isolation centres and are largely depending on oxygen. This has resulted in an escalating and alarming demand for oxygen”.
“The oxygen plant facility could not have come at a better time than now when the state is recording an increase in the number of people presenting with difficulty in breathing and requiring urgent oxygen therapy.” He added that about 300 cylinders of gas are being used a day in the state isolation facility stressing that a patient with a critical case may use about six cylinders of oxygen within 24 hours.
In addition, Professor Abayomi, explained that oxygen plants are industrial devices designed for regular supply into healthcare facilities adding that the plants separate oxygen from other air components by using pressure swing adsorption or membrane separation techniques. He assured that the present administration will not relent in its all-inclusive style of response against the pandemic by collaborating with the private sector more.
“This is particularly useful for patients with comorbidities who require prompt oxygen for survival. Oxygen from the plant will be very helpful for effective treatment due to the proximity of the plant which serves as a source,” Professor Abayomi added.