By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental’s provincial administrator, Atty. Rayfrando Diaz, revealed yesterday that the provincial government has begun conducting upgrades to their oxygen production plant in Silay City as the province continues to record a surge in new COVID-19 cases.
According to Diaz, they want to further step up production by adding more workers and engineers. They are currently in the process of hiring five additional job order employees.
As for the equipment, Diaz said they are currently awaiting the documents from the Provincial Engineer’s Office as to what parts will be needed in order to improve production and efficiency.
The needed items and parts will then be procured by means of an emergency purchase.
Diaz said they are currently targeting to produce at least 180 oxygen tanks a day, 110 more compared to the 70 tanks produced per day previously reported last month.
In order to make sure that there would be enough supply of oxygen for the hospitals in the province, Diaz also revealed that they have purchased at least P5 million worth of additional oxygen tanks to further augment the province’s plant in case there is a shortage.
As for the current usage of oxygen among the province’s hospitals, Diaz already noted a 300 percent increase in demand for oxygen, pointing out that there are a lot more people getting admitted at the hospitals who are showing either moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms.
He also hopes that there would be no further lockdowns, pointing out such events can delay the arrival of the parts, equipment, and the technical personnel that are needed for the oxygen plant’s improvements
Diaz also made a public appeal to Negrenses not to take advantage of the surge by way of profiteering or hoarding oxygen supplies.
“Now is not the time to take advantage of the misery of our fellow Negrenses,” Diaz said. “We have to work together, cooperate with one another, extend help and generosity rather than selfishness.”
Diaz added that he hopes no such incidents will happen in the province pointing out it would only make things more difficult./DGB, WDJ