COVID-19: Nigerian Air Force intensifies Liquid Oxygen production, airlifts essential supplies

Following the emergence of the novel Corona virus (COVID-19) in Nigeria, the Nigerian Air Force alongside other security and military establishment has taken several steps to halt the spread of the pandemic.

The Nigerian Air Force on March 27, began running its Liquid Oxygen (LOX) Plant at the 103 Strike Group Yola on 24 hours generator power supply to ensure uninterrupted production of pure liquid Oxygen.

Usually, a Liquid Oxygen (LOxPlant is a stationary liquid oxygen generator for producing pure Oxygen for aircraft’s ground support as well as for the supply of aviation breathing oxygen for aircrews in high altitude.

Liquid oxygen is obtained from the oxygen found naturally in air by fractional distillation in a cryogenic air separation plant.

According to a NAF tweet, “the LOX is being gasified and will be stored in cylinders for supply to isolation centres and designated hospitals as part of the NAF’s contribution to efforts aimed at tackling the COVID-19 emergency.”

These process is particularly important because pure Oxygen is required for ventilators machine used in treatment of COVID-19.

In severe cases, the Corona virus (COVID-19) causes damage to the lungs. The body’s immune system detects this and expands blood vessels so more immune cells enter. But this can cause fluid to enter the lungs, making it harder to breathe, and causing the body’s oxygen levels to drop.

To alleviate this, a machine ventilator is used to push air, with increased levels of oxygen, into the lungs. The ventilator also has a humidifier, which modifies adds heat and moisture to the medical air so it matches the patient’s body temperature.

Thus, for a patient with such a condition, a ventilator offers the best chance of survival by taking over the body’s breathing process when the lungs fails. A ventilator gives the patient enough time to recover and fight the disease.

In a similar vein, the Nigerian Air Force on, 24 March 2020, using its C-130 Hercules tactical airlift aircraft (NAF 913) airlifted medical materials donated by the Jack Ma Foundation, China, for tackling Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria, from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos to the Nnmadi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.

The donated medical materials, which consist of 107 boxes of medical supplies and equipment, comprising surgical masks, medical disposable protective clothing, face shields and detection kits, weighing about 3,000 pounds, were handed over by the NAF Aircrew to a delegation from the Federal Ministry of Health led by the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Abdulazeez Mashi Abdullahi, 25 March 2020, at the NAIA, Abuja.

Ekene Lionel

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