Medical providers in Ukraine could run out of oxygen as Russia’s invasion of the country disrupts transportation, according to the World Health Organization.
“The oxygen supply situation is nearing a very dangerous point in Ukraine,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Europe Regional Director Hans Kluge said in a joint statement Sunday. “Trucks are unable to transport oxygen supplies from plants to hospitals across the country, including the capital Kyiv. The majority of hospitals could exhaust their oxygen reserves within the next 24 hours. Some have already run out. This puts thousands of lives at risk.
“Further, medical oxygen generator manufacturers in several areas are also facing shortages of zeolite, a crucial, mainly imported chemical product necessary to produce safe medical oxygen. Safe deliveries of zeolite from outside Ukraine to these plants is also needed.
“Compounding the risk to patients, critical hospital services are also being jeopardized by electricity and power shortages, and ambulances transporting patients are in danger of getting caught in the crossfire.”
The country needs 25 percent more oxygen than it did before Russia invaded, the WHO said. The agency called for a safe transit corridor to increase oxygen supplies to Ukraine through Poland.