Many people were seen queuing with oxygen cylinders in Mexico City on Wednesday, as hospital saturation caused by COVID-19 pandemic forced the authorities to enable free oxygen supply for the patients in need, most of whom are COVID patients treated at home due to overwhelmed hospitals.
High demand for oxygen tanks has reportedly caused its price to skyrocket by up to 30 percent. The Mexican government has launched a campaign by offering free refills of oxygen tanks to resolve the crisis.
“We have seen that the establishments that are dedicated to refilling the oxygen tanks are saturated. There are huge lines and people have to arrive at 06:00 to be able to get hold of a tank,” explained Noe Cruz, Head of Health Promotion in the Mayor’s Office.
“There are some people who are coming out of the disease [COVID-19] and need oxygen as therapy, but we also have people who are not sick with COVID but who come from an operation or some other disease that need oxygen permanently,” Cruz added.
According to the latest data collected by the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, as of Wednesday, Mexico has confirmed a total of 1,571,901 cases of COVID-19 and 136,917 deaths related to the disease.