COVID-19: Oxygen for patients running out

Health care workers check the monitor of a patient infected with COVID-19 coronavirus breathing in oxygen at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the makeshift hospital installed inside Millenium Hall, one of the country's largest event center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on March 18, 2021. - Gast Solar Mechanics, the largest chemical plant in Ethiopia, supplies oxygen cylinders for patients with severe respiratory problems with COVID-19 to six hospitals and houses in Addis Ababa every day. The plant increased its operating hours from 12 to 24 hours to fill 800 cylinders daily since March 2020. About 500 cylinders are delivered daily to the makeshift hospital in Millennium hall, which currently opens only 170 beds out of 300 due to the constant shortage of oxygen. (Photo by Amanuel SILESHI / AFP) (Photo by AMANUEL SILESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

The Ghana Infectious Disease Center has warned Ghanaians against the seeming non-adherence to the Covid-19 safety protocols as it notes that government can not be of help should anyone fall severely ill.

The Ga East Municipal Hospital has disclosed that the facility lacks adequate nurses needed to take care of the increasing number of Covid-19 patients at the facility.

The Hospital is also in need of oxygen for the patients at the Hospital’s Infectious Disease Center’s Intensive Care Unit.

The number of active Covid-19 cases in the country has catapulted to 2,314 in the past two weeks as Ghanaians have let their guard down on the safety protocols.

Meanwhile, Presidential Advisor on Health Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare has warned of a third wave of COVID-19.

Acting Director of the Center, Dr Joseph Oliver-Commey said the ICU designated for Covid patients is full to capacity while the ward for critical cases can not take on new cases.

Dr Oliver-Commey noted, “the only reason why you can take patients into your ICU is when you have oxygen and adequate staff to handle them.”

“At the moment we are constrained by lack of oxygen and it is not only the infectious disease centre, almost all the ICU centres are constrained by oxygen including the use of high flow oxygen, very expensive that patients cannot afford.”

He added “we are not saying we can’t look after the patients but the things to use to look after them, the nurses, the oxygen is a problem. You narrow it down only to oxygen, I said oxygen plus the personnel, so I could have the oxygen but not the personnel and if I don’t have the personnel, why do I put a patient on the bed?”

“This is my humble plea to all Ghanaians, if you fall sick and you fall severely ill, government cannot help you, I would not be able to help you and so is your next door neighbour, so consciously prevent yourself from getting COVID-19,” Dr Oliver-Commey urged in an interview with Asaase radio.