Museveni explains oxygen crisis

Saturday 19th June 2021

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has revealed that the current oxygen challenge the country is facing is the few numbers of empty cylinders for distribution. 

He made the revelations on June 18,2021 while addressing the country on the COVID-19 status.

"Oxygen is produced  but cylinders are not enough. Of course if cases keep expanding, it can also outstrip our production capacity," he said.

According to Mr Museveni, an average non-COVID-19 critical patient consumes one-to-two oxygen cylinders per day, however,  a severely ill COVID-19 needs four to six cylinders per day.

He noted that the current national daily oxygen consumption stands at 3,000 cylinders perday, where each cylinder is 6,800 liters. 

"When the COVID-19 patients increase in the coming weeks, daily consumption will rise to 25,800 cylinders per day in one month, unless we change course," he revealed.

He added that, "This is nearly a 9 -fold increase in overall national oxygen requirement. Current oxygen production (oxygen plants linked to our national & regional referral hospitals), including private sector is 3,005 cylinders against daily consumption at 3,000 cylinders."

Museveni however said  government will aim at reducing the speed and the intensity of transmission to within the next 42 days so that number of new cases is less than the available bed and oxygen capacity in the country.

"Increasing oxygen supply to all COVID-19 treatment health facilities and optimize the available care capacity so that it can adequately handle current and new cases over the next 42 days," said Museveni.

According to the ministry of health Spokesperson Emmanuel Ainebyoona, mulago hospital has installed a new oxygen plant that will supplement the current oxygen capacity.

"The plant is expected to produce 70,000 Ltrs of oxygen per minute in addition to the 2,083 Ltrs produced by the old oxygen plants," he said.