The lack of medical oxygen has become a major concern for Coronavirus patients in Libya, as the quarantine centers in each of Al-Khums, Zliten, Bani Walid, Gharyan, Tiji, and Sabha announced the insufficiency of their stock, before receiving support from civil bodies and local donors, to raise the question about the causes of the crisis in light of the steady rise for people with the delta mutator, and record deaths of cases, some of whom died as a result of the interruption of the oxygen supply, despite government data that mitigate the reality.
What is the story of medical oxygen? And why is it important for people with Coronavirus?
Oxygen is one of the most important components for life on Earth’s surface. It is the basis of cellular respiration in humans and animals. It also enters the process of photosynthesis in plants.
Oxygen constitutes 21% of the Earth’s atmosphere and about 50% of the mass of the Earth’s crust, and it is one of the atoms that Water (H2O) consists of two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen, and it is the most abundant element in the human body, making up about 65% of the mass of the human body.
High-concentration and high-purity oxygen is widely used in medical treatment, high-purity oxygen is developed for use in the human body and no other types of gases are allowed in medical oxygen cylinders; To prevent contamination, high-flow oxygen is given prior to hospital admission in cases of resuscitation, serious trauma, severe bleeding, shock, active seizures, and hypothermia.
Medical oxygen is a pivotal treatment for Corona patients
In cases of severe infection with the Corona virus, the air entering the lung becomes little, and the person needs oxygen to compensate for the lack of air in the event that it drops below the safe normal rates estimated at 95%, and in the event that it drops below 92%, this indicates a lack of oxygen that reaches the body tissues, which leads to extreme astonishment and inability to speak, and it may sometimes reach blue in the color of the body, and this often happens with Coronavirus patients who suffer from allergies and heart disease.
Dr. (Janet Diaz), head of clinical care at the World Health Organization, has confirmed that medical oxygen is an essential treatment for severe cases of Coronavirus, explaining that when a person suffers an acute condition, oxygen levels can drop in the body to a point during which there is not enough for the body’s cells to carry out their normal functions.
Speaking about the importance of oxygen in treating corona, the editor of the WHO guidelines (Trevor Duke) said that corona is primarily a respiratory disease, and leads to patients in advanced stages of pneumonia and hypoxemia, that is, a lack of oxygen supply in the blood, and hypoxemia is considered One of the most prominent complications of pneumonia, which is a major cause of death, and in the event of pneumonia, medical oxygen relieves hypoxia, and gives the body time until the infection shrinks and the lungs recover, so Coronavirus patients are in dire need of this treatment.
The severe shortage of medical oxygen and the cylinders that preserve it has pushed some isolation centers in Libya to the brink of disaster, especially with the record rise in injuries caused by the fast-spreading delta axis in the western and southern regions. Oxygen, which the center is supplied with from the city of Tripoli, the isolation center in Sabha declared an emergency, appealing to “doers of good” to intervene after the center’s oxygen stocks were nearly exhausted, which prompted the medical staff to organize a protest against what they considered the government’s negligence, and calls for help continued from the center Gharyan, located in the western mountain and Tiji, whose center is suffering after the cessation of the neighboring Nalut oxygen plant.
As for Zliten, civil efforts have succeeded in installing and operating an oxygen plant in its central hospital, and a Corona treatment center that includes 15 to 20 patients needs an oxygen supply estimated at more than 40 thousand liters per day. .
The government received a shipment of 100,000 liters of oxygen coming from the Egyptian neighbor, which is the third of its kind within the framework of a plan by the ministry aimed at importing two million liters to fill the severe shortage in isolation centers. The Libyan Minister of Health, Ali Al-Zanati, had denied any crisis in the isolation centers.
He stressed the decrease in injuries and the betting on the progress of immunization operations to bypass the epidemic wave, which observers see as confusion and a clear absence of a strategic plan to deal with the epidemic, and despite the severity of the humanitarian situation in some isolation centers and announcing some of them have run out of oxygen, the government continues to mitigate the severity of the crisis.
Where does medical oxygen come from in Libya?
To meet the needs for oxygen, the isolation center must provide oxygen concentrators or generators. The isolation and filtration centers in Libya rely on oxygen supplies kept in special tanks with a storage capacity of 20,000 liters, or through oxygen concentrators, a device that takes oxygen from the room and concentrates it for therapeutic use. And removes other gases, and a few Libyan centers
The largest oxygen plant in the country and belonging to the Iron and Steel Factory in Misurata
The medical oxygen plant of the Iron and Steel Complex in Misurata is the largest of its kind in the country, with a production capacity of 6000 liters, which is enough to fill 700 cylinders, and despite the abundance of production, it hardly suffices the local consumption of the city, while the factories belonging to the private sector are unable to meet the large needs of isolation centers. Citizens queue up to fill their cylinders with an amount of approximately 25 dinars, while other factories, such as those in Nalut and Zliten, stop working, and isolation centers such as Al-Khums and Bani Walid are waiting for government promises to equip them with oxygen factories, despite reaching the peak of clinical occupancy.
The current health crisis revealed the urgent need to restructure and organize the health strategy in dealing with epidemics, in order to ensure the speed of intervention and finding solutions to avoid the loss of life.