Original 1 Covid-19: Cacovid Supplies Fg Oxygen To Stem High Death Rate
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COVID-19: CACOVID supplies FG oxygen to stem high death rate

By Gabriel Olawale

Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19, CACOVID, yesterday restated its commitment towards ensuring that no life was lost as a result of severe oxygen supply shortage.

Consequently, it supplied the Federal Government with oxygen for management of critical COVID-19 patients at Isolation Centres across the country.

Briefing newsmen in Lagos on the latest donations, Managing Director and CEO of Aliko Dangote Foundation, Zouera Youssoufou, said the provision of oxygen to all the Isolation Centres across the country was made available by a key partner of CACOVID, Mr. Raj Gupta of African Industries Group, at no costs, immediately the request for oxygen was made from the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

She said: “As you all know, we are experiencing a severe oxygen supply problem in the country with this 2nd wave. CACOVID, through one of our founding members, Mr. Raj Gupta of African Industries Group, immediately stepped in and has been providing oxygen in Abuja, mainly to the National Hospital and Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital in FCT.’’

Youssoufou, who also doubles as an administrator of CACOVID, said since December 21, 2020, when they first received the request for oxygen from the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, 1300 cylinders had been delivered, and promised to continue to do so as long as the request was made.

She disclosed that the same offer had been made to Lagos State, where there is oxygen shortage, adding that CACOVID as at last week, had provided 122 cylinders already refilled for use and sent to the Yaba Medical Centre.

“In addition to the oxygen that has been provided by African Industries Group, CACOVID has also purchased over 1,000 cylinders to be distributed to the states that have the most need,’’ she said.

Making a commitment on behalf of CACOVID, Raj Gupta of African Industries Group, said:  ‘’We will continue to support Nigeria with oxygen for free for as long as this is required. No COVID-19 patient in any public hospital or isolation centre should have to pay for oxygen.

“We have been in Nigeria for 50 years and this year marks our 50th anniversary. We manufacture oxygen as one of our steel making process but when we noticed COVID-19 patients are dying for lack of oxygen, we had to step in, through CACOVID.”

‘’As a member of CACOVID, this is our support in moving the country forward and we see this as a humanitarian crisis and as a responsible company, we have to step in to ensure that no-one died due to lack of oxygen.

‘’If it takes us to temporarily stop our steel production, we will happily do that for our people to live and be healthy in Nigeria.’’

On cost implication of the supplies to the company, Gupta said it was a secondary issue and that what was of most concerns to the company was saving lives.

Youssoufou recalled that since March 2020 when CACOVID was convened, the coalition has raised about N39 billion which had been spent on supporting the establishment of 39 isolation centres across the country, including the largest and most used in Lagos, during this second wave.

She said: We also purchased millions of PPEs, testing supplies, palliatives for 10.7 million people, and provided risk communication in support of the messaging campaigns to keep Nigerians aware and protected from the virus.’’

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