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2 Jul, 2021 09:01

With Delta variant raging, Russia reportedly asks metallurgists to cut use of oxygen as hospitals need gas for Covid-19 patients

With Delta variant raging, Russia reportedly asks metallurgists to cut use of oxygen as hospitals need gas for Covid-19 patients

Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade has urged the country’s metallurgical companies to reduce their oxygen consumption in the production of steel. The request is designed to free up supply for Covid-19 patients on ventilators.

That’s according to Moscow daily RBK, which cited two sources who revealed that the Ministry is desperately trying to avoid any possible shortage. Such situations have caused suffering and anguish in India, and other states hit hard by the pandemic, like Brazil and Mexico.

Russia is currently seeing an uptick in Covid-19 cases, and an increase in patients being placed on an artificial ventilator. Two weeks ago, the head of Moscow’s top coronavirus hospital, Denis Protsenko, revealed that the number of patients needing ventilation is more than at any other time during the pandemic. In the days since he said that, daily cases have almost doubled.

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According to RBK, the Ministry of Industry and Trade sent a letter to the largest metallurgical enterprises asking them to reveal how much oxygen they have purchased from medical manufactures, with the warning that their contracts may have to be revised.

“Morbidity in the third wave of Covid-19 is characterized by a much faster rate of the disease and a high proportion of patients who need oxygen therapy, which led to a large increase in the consumption of oxygen by medical institutions,” the newspaper explains.

The publication noted that the latest move to try and redistribute oxygen away from industry and towards hospitals was pushed by First Deputy Minister of Industry Vasily Osmakov, following Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin’s demand that medical institutions should be provided with a sufficient supply of the vital gas.

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On Thursday, the chief pulmonologist of Russia’s Health Ministry, Sergey Avdeyev, revealed that almost all of those in the country’s hospitals on ventilators have contracted the Delta strain.

“If we compare it with the situation two or three months ago, unfortunately, today we see a more serious Covid-19 disease, and more patients require oxygen therapy and oxygen support, including ventilators,” he said.

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