Medical Oxygen Plant Reactivated in Venezuela to Tackle COVID-19 Spike

The company Oxígenos del Centro CA (Oxicentro), was reactivated by government authorities and the healthcare staff in the municipality of Independencia (Santa Teresa del Tuy), Miranda state, with the goal of helping to provide oxygen to healthcare centers in the region. The privately owned industrial and medicinal oxygen plant had been inoperative for more than eight years.

The facilities were supervised and refurbished by officials from the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC), the scientific-technological council of Miranda, and the mayor’s offices of the municipalities Independencia (Santa Teresa) and Paz Castillo (Santa Lucía).

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Through a video conference, this Wednesday, April 14, Governor Héctor Rodríguez classified as wonderful the actions that are being carried out by the scientific council to face the situations “that have arisen with the COVID-19 pandemic, the blockade, and the imperialist ‘sanctions.'”

He highlighted that the first refurbished production line centers around the transformation of liquid oxygen to gaseous, “whose raw material is supplied by the Venezuelan Corporation of Guayana through PDVSA management. The second line, which has the capacity to generate medical supplies from water and air, will soon be put into operation.”

During an inspection at the plant, Eneida Laya Lugo, trade minister, indicated that agreements have been proposed with the company Oxicar in order to begin distributing medicinal oxygen within the country. “We are fine-tuning strategies that allow a fair distribution of the resource, in addition to the mechanisms to support patients infected with COVID-19,” said Laya Lugo.

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Leonel Párica, secretary of science and technology of Miranda, said that the plant has a filling station for 64 cylinders and a storage capacity of 10,000 liters of liquid oxygen, which will be expanded to 40,000. “This would allow us to satisfy the oxygen demand of Miranda’s population, especially in the current situation, faced with the COVID-19 pandemic and its Brazilian variants P.1 and P.2.” He pointed out that the factory has two production lines with a capacity of 400 cylinders each.

It has the capacity to meet all the demand for the resource in Miranda state and part of the Capital District. Nitrogen, CO2, helium, nitrous oxide, and acetylene, among other gases, can be produced in the plant. “The distribution of the product will begin shortly; while the second production line is in the maintenance phase.”

Esther Hernández, president of Oxígenos del Centro CA, assured that all the facilities are available to the people of Miranda, especially for people with COVID-19. “We have more than 30 years of experience in the production of different types of gases,” she said. “It is rewarding to be able to contribute in this emergency situation; we hope to be able to rise to the challenge.”

 

Featured image: Workers reopening an oxygen plant in Miranda state, Venezuela, to tackle oxygen demand due to the COVID-19 spike. Photo courtesy of Miranda state Governor.

(Ultimas Noticias) by Airamy Carreño Espejo

Translation: Orinoco Tribune

OT/JRE/SL

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