Coronavirus: Oxygen therapy, major treatment for patients – WHO


The World Health Organization on Sunday urged all countries to prepare for caring for patients severely sickened by the deadly new coronavirus by stocking up on ventilators.



The UN health agency stressed in its latest situation report on COVID-19 that “oxygen therapy is a major treatment intervention for patients with severe COVID-19.”



Medical staff treating a critical patient infected by the COVID-19 coronavirus with an Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) at the Red Cross hospital in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province on March 1, 2020. –



“All countries should work to optimise the availability of pulse oximeters and medical oxygen systems,” it said.



Worldwide, nearly 3,000 people have been killed and more than 88,000 infected across some 60 countries since the virus was first detected late last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.



But WHO noted that the virus appears to particularly hit those over the age of 60 and people already weakened by other illness.Among the nearly 45,000 people who tested positive for COVID-19 in China by February 24, only 2.1 percent were under the age of 20, WHO said.



The agency noted that most people with the illness only experience mild symptoms, while around 14 percent suffer severe disease like pneumonia and five percent become critically ill. The mortality rate in the outbreak appears to be between two and five percent.
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