The municipality of General Luna in Quezon province receives 10 medical oxygen tanks it purchased from a Manila-based supplier for use by residents stricken with COVID-19

The municipality of General Luna in Quezon province receives on Friday, Sept. 17, the 10 medical oxygen tanks it purchased from a Manila-based supplier for use by residents stricken with COVID-19. PHOTO FROM THE FACEBOOK PAGE OF MAYOR MATT ERWIN FLORIDO

LUCENA CITY––With the continuous surge of COVID-19 cases in General Luna town of Quezon province, the municipal government decided to purchase 20 medical oxygen tanks to help save the lives of residents.

Mayor Matt Erwin Florido said in a Facebook post Friday that they made an emergency purchase of 20 oxygen tanks with regulators to address the lack of breathing apparatus by many of his townmates sick with COVID-19.

His post showed photos of local authorities inspecting 10 hospital-sized filled oxygen tanks during the delivery by a Manila-based supplier. The remaining 10 tanks would be delivered next week, the mayor said.

Florido said the life-saving equipment could be borrowed, free of cost, by sick patients in localities along the coast of Tayabas Bay in the province’s Bondoc Peninsula district.

“The LGU will provide free oxygen refills to indigent patients. But if the family of the user can afford to, they have to shoulder the cost for a refill,” Florido explained in a phone interview.

The tanks can be refilled in neighboring Gumaca town.

Florido listed on his Social media page the mobile phone numbers that could be contacted for health emergencies.

Florido himself contracted COVID-19 on Sept. 1. He returned to work on Sept. 13 after he tested “negative” for the virus.

General Luna recorded 21 COVID-19 cases and one fatality from Sept. 1 to 16. The town still has 14 active virus carriers.

As hospitals across the country struggle with an influx of COVID-19 patients, authorities also have to deal with the short supply of medical oxygen.

Quezon, which remains under general community quarantine with heightened restrictions, has been recording a surge in COVID-19 cases since March.

On Thursday, the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) logged 309 new COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day tally since the pandemic began in March last year.

The province has 2,454 active cases.

The continuous surge in new COVID-19 cases has caused five hospitals in Quezon to close their wards dedicated to coronavirus patients as these were already operating beyond capacity.

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