July 5, 2021, 08.10 PM
People queue to refill oxygen gas cylinders at Medical Oxygen at South Jakarta, on Thursday (1/7/2021). KOMPAS.com/GARRY LOTULUNGPeople queue to refill oxygen gas cylinders at Medical Oxygen at South Jakarta, on Thursday (1/7/2021).

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - Several hospitals in Indonesia face oxygen shortage as the Covid-19 caseload continues to climb and it is likely fueled by the spread of Delta variant.

"Covid patients are rapidly rising and demand of oxygen is very high despite the supply of medical oxygen has been increased," said a spokesman for the Covid-19 Task Force at the UNS Hospital Dr. Tonang Dwi Ardyanto on Sunday, July 4.

Not all Covid patients need oxygen, depending on their conditions. But, most of the medical oxygen is being used by the patients who contract coronavirus.

"It depends on the patient’s condition, but the Covid patients need more oxygen than non-covid patients. Especially, in the hospitals where the number of Covid-19 patients receiving treatment exceeds the number of non-Covid-19 patients," Tonang said. 

Also readCovid-19 Delta Variant Spreading Fast Among Unvaccinated

The Ministry of Health has urged the public not to stockpile medical oxygen at home.

"We call on the public not to stock up on oxygen," said the ministry's vaccination program spokeswoman Siti Nadia Tarmizi on Sunday, July 4.

She expressed hopes that the plan to import oxygen cylinders will be opened and the gas industry will prioritize the production of medical oxygen. 

Prioritizing health care needs 

In response to the oxygen shortage, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan urged relevant parties to convert oxygen supplies for industrial use to meet the medical needs and Indonesia will import medical oxygen to meet the domestic demand. 

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