The recent surge in COVID infections in Baja California is responsible for the shortages of both oxygen tanks as well as crematoriums
TIJUANA,BC – The critical demand for oxygen tanks continues in the state of Baja California, due to the uptick in diagnosed cases of COVID19.
Faced with this health dilemma, both the Ministry of Health and the Federal Health Delegate, José Ruiz, are urging the local citizens to return the used oxygen tanks to the refilling centers to help meet the demand for the people who need it most.
In his remarks at a press conference, the Health Delegate announced that “users who rent oxygen tanks to private companies are obligated to return the used tanks in a timely manner,” adding that “returning the tanks may help save the life of another patient in this fight against such a killer virus.”
In his comments he mentioned that “during this pandemic approximately 500 oxygen tanks were being rented each day on average but for the last two weeks, that demand has now increased to as much as one thousand tanks daily.”
Oxygen tanks are often prescribed for home use for COVID positive patients whose symptoms are not so severe as to require hospitalization. However if more tanks do not become available, more patients will be required to be hospitalized for their care, further reducing the number of hospital beds available at a time where already hospitals are dealing with critical shortages of bed space.
Cremation waiting lists of up to a month
As a preventative health measure, embalming services are not available for those whose deaths were COVID related and families wishing to claim their loved ones remains are forced to use the services of a crematorium as a means to limit the possible spread of the coronavirus.
Due to the surge in COVID related deaths in Baja California, family members now have to wait between 15 to 30 days to be able to cremate the bodies of their loved ones, as the limited number of crematoriums are insufficient during this pandemic.
In the entire state there are a total of 18 funeral homes offering cremation services and all are heavily overbooked at present. The backlog in cremations is now causing an additional heavy load on local morgues, forced to store the bodies until a crematorium time slot becomes available.
One Tijuana area funeral home employee spoke with one of the local papers here, corroborating the reports of shortage of cremation services adding, “right now, all the funeral homes are burning around the clock and we are still unable to keep up.”