Tibetans breathing easier with oxygen

More than 20 institutions including schools, hospitals, and nursing homes in Nagchu, Tibet autonomous region, were linked to a central oxygen supply system recently, Tibet Daily reported.

The city launched an oxygen supply project in August 2017 to address health concerns caused by lack of oxygen. With an average altitude of 4,500 meters, Nagchu is China's highest city. The air at that altitude is thin, with roughly half the oxygen content of the atmosphere at sea level.

With an investment of more than 200 million yuan ($28 million), the first phase of the project has been completed and is currently operating in Nyanrong and Nyima counties and the central part of the city.

With an investment of an additional 174 million yuan, the second phase of the project will address government institutions in Shanza, Palgon and Amdo counties, where construction is underway.

The third phase of the project will start next year and is expected to provide oxygen coverage for government institutions and the homes of staff members.

Tsering Tobgyal, a Tibetan who works for the city's education bureau, said that with oxygen available in working and living spaces, his colleagues would no longer had to worry about high-altitude sickness after returning to work following holidays in low-altitude areas.

"I want to give a compliment for such a good project," he said.

Khangcho, an 87-year-old man in a nursing home in the city's Seni district, said he was pleased with the service.

"I take oxygen twice a day, each time for one hour. Now I don't have headaches anymore," he said. "I can breathe smoothly, and I get better sleep."

Lodre, deputy director of the city's development and reform commission, said the central oxygen supply system helps improve people's living environment, and the project is vital for people's life and health safety.

"It's long been an dream and wish for many who work and live in this high-altitude city," Lodre said. "Soon, people will say goodbye to inadequate oxygen."