Oxygen for Covid-19 patients: Direct supply needed for 500-odd patients

  • Majority in HDUs, ICUs

  • Non-Covid patients also in need of O2

  • Hospitals’ O2 supply increased

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa


Around 500 Covid-19 patients presently being treated at hospitals across the country are in need of a direct oxygen supply, The Sunday Morning learnt.

Ministry of Health Deputy Director General of Medical Services Dr. Lal Panapitiya told The Sunday Morning that as of last morning (5), a total of 318 patients being treated at high dependency units (HDUs) and 120 patients at intensive care units (ICUs) are in need of a direct oxygen supply.

Currently, 33,122 Covid-19 patients are being treated at hospitals while 31,466 suspected Covid-19 patients too are in hospitals.

In addition, as explained by Dr. Panapitiya, there are other patients treated in wards of hospitals allocated for Covid-19 treatment who are also in need of oxygen. “This number is not reported, as it changes from time to time,” he added.

He, however, said that there was no shortage of oxygen in any of these hospitals and that the suppliers have also increased their oxygen supply considerably as per a request made by the Health Ministry.

Explaining further, Dr. Panapitiya stressed that the exact oxygen requirement cannot be measured, as the hospitals also need oxygen for purposes other than treating Covid-19 patients.

According to him, at present, the available oxygen stocks in hospitals around the country are roughly 80,000 metric tonnes.