October 3, 2023

There is an increasing number of individuals borrowing oxygen tanks from the city, especially Covid-19 patients who are waiting to be admitted to hospitals and those on home quarantine who experience shortness of breathing.

In her report on the city’s Covid-19 Delta variant contingency plan during the virtual management committee meeting, Sept. 28, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) chief Antonette Anaban said 250 oxygen tanks of varied sizes are currently available for emergency use and can be accessed at the CDRRMO.

Anaban said personal use is welcome as long as those who borrowed will return the oxygen tanks refilled since access to oxygen supply is one of the key result areas of the contingency plan.

Additional 62 pieces of 50-pound oxygen tanks and 62 oxygen regulators were procured by the city on Sept. 24, making a total of 97 tanks being used in isolation facilities, she said.

Anaban earlier said a patient consumes a 50-pound O2 within five to six hours. It means that daily demand for O2 ranges from 200 to 240 pounds daily and with 56 patients currently needing O2 at the city isolation unit, the required demand for O2 is between 11,200 to 13,440 pounds or equivalent to an average of 246 units of 50-pound O2 tanks daily.

Since the demand for O2 varies depending on the number of cases, the city should have a daily buffer of at least 30 pieces of 10 pounds; 30 pieces of 20 pounds and 20 pieces of 50 pounds of oxygen tanks and that it should establish a network with an outside oxygen industrial plant to sustain its supply.

The City Health Services Office will oversee the city’s overall oxygen supply while the General Service Office will pick up empty oxygen tanks from health facilities, bring to the supplier for refilling then deliver back to the facilities.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said other than establishing a network with an outside oxygen company, he tasked the Local Finance Committee to see if the city could construct its own oxygen plant to supply the city’s oxygen needs.

He also pointed out the possibility of the city entering into rental or other similar agreements with suppliers as he assured the city continues to find ways in making sure it has a stable and adequate oxygen supply.

Anaban is also asking all city government offices to have their own Covid-19 contingency plans especially now that the more infectious Delta variant has emerged.

This is in keeping with the city’s push towards self-reliance and to encourage offices to be pro-active in dealing with the pandemic and not be overly dependent on other departments, she said.

Anaban has reiterated her previous report for all government and private establishments to designate their respective health protocol officers to enforce minimum public health standards in their workplaces subject to orientation by the HSO so they will know what to do when an employee tests positive of the virus. – Gaby B. Keith