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Kenyans Hoard Oxygen Cylinders, Starving Hospitals of Gas

  • About 60% of medical oxygen cylinders aren’t circulating
  • Medical oxygen demand surges to treat Covid-19 patients
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Photographer: NurPhoto/Getty Images

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Kenyan hospitals are running out of oxygen as the number of Covid-19 patients surge and individuals and companies are holding onto cylinders that would normally be available to health facilities.

Demand for oxygen has more than doubled to 880 tons a month from 410 tons before the coronavirus pandemic struck, Health Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said in a televised briefing. The nation has 50,000 medical oxygen cylinders, but only 60% of them are in circulation, said Marion Gathoga-Mwangi, managing director of BOC Gases Ltd,.