22 July 2021, Mrauk-U
An oxygen generator set up by locals in Mrauk-U, Arakan State, began operating on Wednesday evening, helping efforts to supplement a national supply of medical oxygen that has not been up to the challenge of rising pandemic-related need.
U Maung Win Shwe, chairman of the Nang Yeik Karuna Free Oxygen Assistance Association, told DMG that the plant has so far produced 24 40-liter oxygen cylinders and 30 15-litre cylinders, and is distributing them to townships in need.
“We started producing oxygen yesterday. We have a plan to donate oxygen to charities in Minbya, Kyauktaw and Sittwe. It does not matter which townships we donate oxygen to. We will donate to all townships in need of oxygen,” he said.
Efforts are being made to produce oxygen in several Arakan State townships amid persistent concerns about a sharply rising Covid-19 case count.
U Maung Win Shwe said money would be collected from those who could afford it and would be provided free-of-charge to those who could not.
“We will collect K5,000 from those who can afford to buy oxygen and donate oxygen to those who cannot afford it. The reason for that is that we now have four employees. In addition, the electricity charge for this oxygen generator can cost about K4 million per month,” he explained.
Donations are reportedly being collected to build oxygen generators in the Arakan State townships of Ann, Myebon, Minbya, Kyauktaw, Manaung, Maungdaw, Ponnagyun, Pauktaw, Taungup, Thandwe, Rathedaung and Sittwe.
Since the third wave of coronavirus hit Myanmar in May, Arakan State had reported 1,789 cases and 74 deaths as of July 21.