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Covid-19 patients gasp for air in hospitals without oxygen

17 September 2020

As Kenya inches closer to the 40,000 mark, it has become evident that medical oxygen is the primary treatment for the majority of patients with severe Covid-19 symptoms. Dr Majid Twahir, the Chief of Staff at Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, said patients who require oxygen usually start at one to two litres per minute, which implies 60 to 120 litres per hour. He adds that this is for patients who are not very sick. For Covid-19 patients, they initially use between four to eight litres per minute of oxygen. Dr Twahir said about 80% of Covid-19 patients in Kenya are asymptomatic, slightly less than 20% have moderate symptoms and may require not only an isolation bed, but ones that have oxygen.