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Oxygen shortages endangering half a million Covid patients every day in poorest countries, research shows

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Shortages of oxygen are endangering the lives of more than half a million COVID-19 patients every day in the world’s poorest nations, new research has shown.

Despite being vital for the effective treatment of people admitted to hospital with coronavirus, sustained access to oxygen has proven difficult in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) due to cost, infrastructure and logistical barriers.

According to Unitaid, a global health agency, more than half a million people in LMICs currently need 1.1 million cylinders of oxygen per day, with 25 countries currently reporting surges in demand, the majority in Africa.

Supplies of oxygen were already constrained prior to COVID-19 and have been exacerbated by the pandemic, Unitaid says.

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Source: The Independent, 25 February 2021

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