Last week, the Nepalese government issued guidelines for the establishment and operation of oxygen cylinders in the districts, imposing a sufficient stock of oxygen concentrators for 20 percent of hospital beds in each district. However, the existing supply is not sufficient to maintain the threshold set by the government.
The authorities envisioned the oxygen concentrator bank as a store to manage demand, supply, collection, distribution and management of equipment. The government plans to establish such banks as a buffer stock at the level of the Ministry of Health Services, provinces and districts.
“The threshold has been set at 20% given the demand for oxygen in hospitals in normal times,” said Krishna Prasad Paudel, spokesman for the Nepalese Ministry of Health, quoted by the Kathmandu Post.
“But, the existing supply of oxygen concentrators may not be sufficient to meet this threshold in all hospitals,” he added.
As of mid-June, the government has distributed about 2,950 oxygen concentrators in several districts.
About 650 hospitals and health facilities have been equipped with these concentrators. However, many hospitals across the country are still waiting to receive these supplies.
Earlier, also during Wave 2, the government failed to secure essential supplies on time and relied mainly on donated supplies to manage the crisis.