The government has decided to use all beds in government hospitals in the capital for treatment of coronavirus patients.

The decision was taken considering the rising number of cases in the capital of late.

The hospitals to be used for COVID treatment include Bir Hospital, Patan Hospital, Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, National Trauma Centre and Paropakar Maternity and Women's Hospital.

Also, private hospitals have been requested to allocate two-thirds of their beds for coronavirus patients.

As per the health ministry, a total of 3,927 persons in Kathmandu valley have tested positive for the deadly contagion in the past 24 hours.

Speaking at a press meet Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Population Laxman Aryal said all the beds in government hospitals would be used for COVID patients.

With coronavirus patients increasing, scarcity of oxygen in the country has also worsened.

As per the health ministry, the demand is 14,000 to 15,000 cylinders each day, but oxygen plants in Kathmandu can refill only 8,000 cylinders per day. About 2,000 cylinders are being refilled by oxygen plants in hospitals.

"Unless we increase the production of oxygen, supply will not meet the ever increasing demand," said Aryal. To meet the demand, purchase order of 20,000 cylinders has been presented to the World Bank and UNICEF. We are also talking with the Indian government for supply of liquid oxygen.

We will complete the construction of an oxygen tank in Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital. Supply of liquid oxygen will be ensured in Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital and National Trauma Centre.

"Tender bidding for procurement of nine liquid oxygen tanks is in the final process. We have also requested 20,000 oxygen cylinders from the Chinese government and 400 cylinders arrived in the country today itself. A total of 2,000 cylinders will be airlifted. Customs tax will also not be levied on import of oxygen cylinders," said Aryal.

"We will help hospitals with 200 beds for keeping oxygen plants if they are willing. There has been an exponential rise in the number of COVID patients due to alarming transmission rate. We need to control the infection spread and expand treatment facilities. No one should give up at this time," said Aryal.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 12, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.