Several business groups are supplying oxygen in Chattogram for free since an acute shortage of the vital ingredient for the conronavirus treatment hit the port city recently.
Business conglomerates including Abul Khair Group, GPH Ispat Limited, PHP Group and Mustafa Hakim Group, among others, are doing the charity with companies producing medical grade oxygen to meet the rising demand.
More than 5,000 coronavirus patients have been reported from Chattogram with 15 percent of them denied hospital admission since due to insufficient treatment facility. Nearly 120 people died without having an oxygen supply to their bodies or an intensive care units (ICU) facility.
Mostafa Hakim Group, a giant inn sheep-breaking, steel and cement business in port city, distributed 500 oxygen cylinder to the people suffering from Covid-19 in ward no 41 of Chattogram City Corporation and Sitakundu upzila.
The Group will also refill Oxygen cylinders for free at their plant in Sitakundu, said Mohammad Sarwar Alam, director of the Mustafa Hakim Welfare Foundation which does the charity on behalf of the Group.
“We have 50 welfare organizations including Begum Fazilutunnessa Mujib Trust to run the charity works throughout the year.
“It is our responsibility to help the government tackle the pandemic likes of which the world has never seen before,” Alam said.
Imrul Quader Bhuiyan, senior manager (human resources) of Abul Khair Group, said they so far have distributed 300 cylinders to the designated hospitals for Covid-19 treatment.
“We are in an agreement with the health department to supply medical oxygen for free to those hospitals” said Imrul adding they plan to produce and distribute more oxygen if the epidemic continues.
Admitting a shortage occurred due to lack of a central oxygen supply system at a hospital, Dr Abdur Rob Masum of General Hospital said a proper oxygen supply might have saved more lives.
Around 30 Covid-19 patients died in the hospital due to lack of a proper oxygen supply which was very unfortunate, he lamented.
Sometimes patient were unable to inhale oxygen due to the lack of high power nozzle canola which is very costly that results a tragedy, said Dr Sheikh Fazle Rabbi, civil surgeon of Chattogram.
In the port city, the Chattogram Maternal and Baby Hospital was the lone hospital which high had power nozzle canola.
Thanks to an NGO since it has recently donated a batch of modern equipment including two more nozzles canola to the Chattogram General Hospital.
It only works where there is a center oxygen supply system. Several private organizations, however, came forward to set up a center oxygen system at the hospital and works are under way.