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Mérida offers oxygen tank refills for free, with a prescription

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
The refilling of oxygen tanks can cost anywhere from 200 to 600 pesos, but Mérida and other Mexican cities are offering refills for free, for a limited time. Photo: File

Merida’s government is offering free oxygen tank refills to anyone with a prescription.

The refill center is located in front of the José Marti library in Parque de las Américas, García Ginerés.

The demand for concentrated oxygen has skyrocketed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Persons infected with COVID-19 who present difficulty breathing often use oxygen tanks to help relieve stress on their pulmonary system.

The center is refilling tanks with a capacity of up to 700 liters, or 2 cubic meters, with a PSI (pressure) of 2,000.

The free service emulates similar programs in other cities. In Mexico City, free oxygen refill centers were swamped as long lines circled blocks. 

Earlier: Mexico announces shipment of 22 million more vaccines from China, its largest order to date

During its first day of operation, the refill center in Mérida only had six people show up. Workers said it was likely that demand would increase as more people heard about the free service. 

Workers at the module inspect the tanks before filling them to check for leaks and possible contaminants. 

On the open market, the refilling of oxygen tanks can cost anywhere from 200 to 600 pesos, depending on the size of the tank. 

The oxygen refilling module is open from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. and is scheduled to operate for approximately two weeks, though this period may be extended. 

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