Delay in shipping $31M oxygen plant from India to Guyana

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Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony today revealed that there is no expected date of arrival for the $31M oxygen plant from India, since global shipping challenges have created much uncertainty in the logistics of getting the equipment here.

Nongovernmental organisations, the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) and the Sewa International Guyana have procured the oxygen plant from India and will be donating it to the Government to aid in the national Covid-19 fight.

The oxygen plant is expected to be set up at the Infectious Disease Hospital (Ocean View Facility) and it is expected to greatly reduce the costs of treating infected patients.

“It’s coming from India. Unfortunately they’re having logistical difficulties in shipping it. So, the plant is procured but they have it basically to ship. The challenge that you have, there’s a global problem with shipping and that’s the problem with shipping,” Dr Anthony explained.

“So, we don’t have an expected date of arrival yet but I know they’ve been working on it, the people who have been donating it, they’re working to get that plant to us. Whenever it comes, we’ll install it,” he added.

While the government awaits the arrival of equipment, the Health Minister has assured that there is currently an adequate level of oxygen supply at the various facilities.

“We’ve had adequate supplies of oxygen…one of the private companies here manufacture oxygen and we have been using that at the Ocean View facility. Right now we’ve built the facility in such a way now, you can access oxygen from every bed so we’re no longer using cylinders in the ward, but you can have piped oxygen to the beds,” he explained.

In October 2021, some healthcare workers underwent training to better manage the use of oxygen at health facilities, after a Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) expert, Lucio Brito, conducted an assessment of the district hospitals in the country and found that oxygen is being wasted at many of the institutions, as a high pressure of oxygen is being used, expending a large volume.