COVID 19: WHO warns possible lack of oxygen as cases near 10 million

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jun 25, 2020, 12.02 PM(IST)

Oxygen masks Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

WHO has bought nearly 14,000 oxygen concentrators from manufacturers and aims to supply them to 120 countries in coming weeks.

With a rapid increase in the number of positive coronavirus cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning of possible shortage of oxygen in the world.

The number of positive cases is nearing 10 million and more than 480,000 deaths, only few months after the pandemic started. Following that, WHO has issued a warning.

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“Many countries are now experiencing difficulties obtaining oxygen concentrators,” WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “Demand is currently outstripping supply.”

WHO has bought nearly 14,000 oxygen concentrators from manufacturers and aims to supply them to 120 countries in coming weeks. The organisation also plans to get additional 170,000 concentrators – worth about US$100m – in the next six months.

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The warning was issued as many countries such as India, the US, Brazil, among others, ave been reporting record high daily spike in number of positive cases. The WHO also expressed concern over the sudden increase of 25-50 per cent cases in a week in the Latin American countries. The experts have predicted that the death toll in Latin America is expected to skyrocket to 390,000 by October.

“I would characterise the situation in the Americas in general as still evolving, not having reached its peak yet, and likely to result in sustained numbers of cases and continued deaths,” said the head of the WHO emergencies programme, Dr Mike Ryan.

India, today, reported 16,922 cases. Brazil reported 42,725 cases and the US reported 35,900 cases. 

The world tally stands at around 9.39 million cases, including more than 481,000 deaths and almost 4.72 million recovered patients.

(With inputs from agencies)