ABUJA, 23 January 2021 – Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has approved $17 million in fuding for the construction of 38 oxygen plants across the country.
Construction of the plants has been made necessary the very sharp rise in the number of patients in need of oxygen, Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s Finance Minister told a meeting of the National Economic Council.
The funds authorized include $671,000 earmarked for repairing existing oxygen generation facilities in five hospitals.
Nigeria, which already had trouble providing oxygen to patients in hospitals in ordinary times, is now facing a “wild shortage of oxygen” for COVID-19 patients so sickened by the virus that they need to be put on ventilators.
In the midst of what is seen as a second wave of the new coronavirus, Nigeria hospitals and health centers are overflowing with patients.
Public health officials say the situation is “critical”.
It is unclear when the new oxygen plants will be completed.
As of Saturday, Nigeria had detected over 118,000 cases of COVID-19 with 1,490 deaths and 94,130 full recoveries.