The private sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has supported the Federal Government with the supply of critical oxygen for case management of COVID-19 patients in isolation centers across the country.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Aliko Dangote Foundation, who doubles as an administrator of CACOVID, Zouera Youssoufou, stated this on Monday in Lagos while updating reporters on the latest donations by the coalition.

Youssoufou said the provision of oxygen to the isolation centers across the country was made possible by a key partner of CACOVID, Mr. Raj Gupta of African Industries Group, at no costs, immediately the request for oxygen was made from the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

She said: “As you all know, we are experiencing a severe oxygen supply problem in the country with this second wave. CACOVID, through one of our founding members, Mr. Raj Gupta of African Industries Group immediately stepped up and has been providing oxygen in Abuja, mainly to the National Hospital and Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital in the FCT. Since December 21, 2020, when we first received the request for oxygen from the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, 1300 cylinders have been delivered, and we will continue to do so as long as this is required.”

Youssoufou added that the same offer has been made to Lagos State, where there is oxygen shortage and that CACOVID as of last week, has provided 122 cylinders already refilled for use and sent to the Yaba Medical Centre.

She said: “In addition to the oxygen that has been provided by African Industries Group, CACOVID has also purchased over 1,000 cylinders to be distributed to the states that have the most need.”

Committing on behalf of CACOVID, Gupta said: “We will continue to support Nigeria with oxygen for free for as long as this is required. No COVID-19 patient in any public hospital or isolation center should have to pay for oxygen… We have been in Nigeria for 50 years and this year marks our 50th anniversary. We manufacture oxygen as one of our steelmaking processes but when we noticed COVID-19 patients are dying of oxygen, we have to step in, through CACOVID.

“As a member of CACOVID, this is our support in moving the country forward, and we see this as a humanitarian crisis, and as a responsible company, we have to step in, to ensure that no-one died due to lack of oxygen. If it takes us to temporarily stop our steel production, we will happily do that for our people to live and be healthy in Nigeria.”