KATHMANDU, May 15: The Bir Hospital is unable to use its new hospital block due to the shortage of medical oxygen.
Although the government decided to use the New Surgical Building for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, the new surgical block has not yet been brought into use due to oxygen shortage.
The hospital’s Director Dr Shanta Sapkota said even though preparations were made for using the new building to treat COVID-19 patients as directed by the government, they have not been able to run a COVID hospital in the new building as they could not get oxygen.
There is demand for 15,000 oxygen cylinders per day while only 7,200 cylinders are being produced in the country at present.
"We had made all preparations for keeping the patients in the new building but had to stop it for the lack of oxygen," she said, adding that COVID-19 patients need supplemental oxygen but there is no oxygen at the hospital.
Dr Sapkota said at least 600 oxygen cylinders were needed for bringing the new hospital building into use for COVID-19 patients. She added that efforts were on to manage oxygen and the patients would be kept at the new facility once oxygen is available.
Originally, the plan was to keep 100 to 300 beds in the new building for COVID-19 patients. The hospital’s new block has 500 beds.