LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The municipal inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases approved the proposal of the municipal disaster risk reduction and management office (MDRRMO) for the procurement of at least thirty oxygen tanks for severe Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients in the isolation centers.
Mayor Romeo K. Salda stated that the MDRRMO under the leadership of Yoho Labi coordinated with a local oxygen supplier for the delivery of the fully-filled oxygen tanks to the local government to meet the needs of the rapidly increasing number of patients.
He claimed these oxygen tanks will be stationed at the Strawberry Hotel and at the senior citizens center so these facilities can accommodate severe COVID-19 patients to help decongest the already overwhelmed Benguet General Hospital (BeGH).
The local chief executive disclosed that the purchase price of the oxygen tanks is almost double of regular prices but the municipal government has to make do with what is available with the supplier to meet immediate needs for oxygen being required for the speedy recovery of severe COVID-19 patients, thus, this request was submitted to the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases for approval.
According to him, the local government needs to ensure the availability oxygen supply in the municipality for the various isolation centers because of the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases triggered by the presence of the Delta variant, thus, the concerned offices are coordinating with the suppliers inside and outside the municipality to ensure the stable supply of oxygen in the coming weeks for any increase in needs.
The mayor admitted that the existing private and public health facilities and isolation centers have already reached their maximum capacity and the local government needs to further expand the available rooms in the isolation units to cater to the continuing increase in COVID-19 cases in the municipality.
Mayor Salda hopes the situation in the municipality will normalize within the next several weeks if there will be a down trend in the COVID-19 cases so that the health facilities and isolation centers could be freed up and for the health workers to be relieved of the heavy workload they have been experiencing over the past several weeks.
He asserted the importance of having adequate supply of oxygen in the municipality for COVID-19 patients.
Funds for the procurement of the initial oxygen tanks will be charged against the local DRRM funds earmarked for the local government’s quick response during emergency situations, such as in the present health crisis. By HENT