Shortage of oxygen at Nepalgunj Medical College Teaching Hospital in KohalpurThe hospital had stopped admitting Covid-19 patients citing oxygen shortage in the last week.
On Monday, Nepalgunj Medical College Teaching Hospital in Kohalpur admitted new Covid-19 patients after the arrival of a tanker carrying liquid oxygen from Jamshedpur, India. However, the quantity of the liquid oxygen is not sufficient to meet the needs of the hospital, according to the hospital administration.
A lack of oxygen cylinders has posed another challenge in the management of oxygen supply at the hospital, which currently has 143 Covid-19 patients. Among them, 42 patients are admitted to the Emergency Ward of the hospital.
The hospital currently consumes 14 full oxygen cylinders per hour, said Dr Dinesh Shrestha, deputy director at the hospital. “The liquid oxygen, which was brought to the hospital on Sunday, is not sufficient. Every 15 days, a tanker of liquid oxygen is needed. The treatment of coronavirus-infected patients will be affected if the supply gets disrupted.”
“The virus infections are on the rise and so are the Covid-19 patients seeking treatment at the hospital,” said Shrestha. “The hospital is facing a shortage of oxygen cylinders. We have asked for help from the local administration to search for oxygen cylinders used in factories and by patients at home.”
Nepalgunj Medical College Teaching Hospital has built a 300-bed Covid-19 unit. The hospital, which has an oxygen liquid tank with a capacity equivalent to store that of 1,800 cylinders, has asked the government to arrange for an additional supply of oxygen to run the unit.
There are two oxygen plants in Nepalgunj with the capacity of producing 1,100 oxygen cylinders on a daily basis. Among them, Bheri Hospital takes 500 cylinders and Nepalgunj Medical College consumes 200 cylinders.
The Nepalgunj-based plant supplies oxygen to Surkhet, Dhangadhi, Dang, Bardiya, Tikapur, Humla and Jumla.
Since the past week, Nepal Medical College has stopped admitting Covid-19 patients citing oxygen shortage. The hospital now plans to add 28 more beds for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.
So far, 1,476 Covid-19 cases have been reported in Kohalpur Municipality alone since April. Currently, 939 Covid-19-infected individuals are staying in home isolation due to a lack of beds and sufficient oxygen supply in hospitals.
Seventeen individuals have died of Covid-19 in Kohalpur, according to the record of the health section of Kohalpur Municipality.
The municipality has built a 50-bed isolation centre and a 25-bed hospital with oxygen supply. Geharaj Khanal, corona focal person of Kohalpur Health Section, said, “The municipality has started providing home isolation services to Covid-19 patients. Those in home isolation will receive free medical treatment and emergency medical supplies during their isolation period.”