No Oxygen in Damascus 

Medical community initiatives and hospitals have announced shortages of oxygen cylinders as a third wave of coronavirus hits Syria, according to Sowt Al-Asima. 

One of the officials of the عقمها# initiative announced the exhaustion of all its oxygen cylinders. This is the largest community initiative that emerged after the announcement of the first coronavirus infections in Damascus and its countryside, which became the alternative to providing health care and the necessary supplies for the injured.

In his post, the initiative’s official said, “We deeply apologize for not being able to meet the needs of many of the widespread cases.” He added, “today, we received 14 oxygen cylinders and, unfortunately, they are not enough to meet the needs.”

The initiative official added, “the tremendous pressure has become terrifying… We have nothing left in Syria except God’s mercy.”

Another initiative official stated that some of the cases that were admitted suffer from a significant lack of oxygenation, pointing out that the oxygen cylinders are no longer useful to them, provided any are available.

In his post, the official called on all families to follow the utmost preventive measures, and to stay away from gatherings and mixing with others, stating that “the situation is currently unspeakably dangerous, and it has become very difficult to secure oxygen.”

For its part, the Sama3t Hakeem Facebook page published two days ago that there are no oxygen cylinders available anymore, indicating that the initiative put the names of 20 patients on the waitlist for when oxygen becomes available.

The most dangerous wave yet

Doctors in Damascus described the third wave of the virus as “the most dangerous yet,” as it is more severe than the wave that reached Syria last July, warning of the great shortage of oxygen in hospitals and clinics. 

The director of Al-Mujtahid Hospital in Damascus, Dr. Ahmed Abbas, said in statements last weekend that it has been two weeks that the isolation units are witnessing a doubling in the numbers of patients, indicating that the third wave is more challenging than the previous one. He added that the current situation in the capital calls for caution, noting that the elderly are the age group that is in the most danger.

For his part, a member of the advisory team to confront coronavirus, Dr. Nebug al-Awa, warned of the worsening of the already poor health situation, in light of the third boom of the virus. He noted that this mutation affects 50 cases at once and that its symptoms appear in children, unlike the previous wave that spread with the onset of winter.

The Ministry of Health issued a circular which it shared with hospitals in Damascus stating that all non-ambulatory operations would be halted starting today. In addition, it requested the implementation of a plan to summon extra personnel in case of a new emergency and to operate hospitals at maximum capacity for the benefit of patients.

 

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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