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25 Sickest COVID Patients Die at Delhi Hosp Amid Oxygen Shortage

An oxygen tanker has now reached Sir Ganga Ram Hospital after the SOS saying they have about two hours of oxygen.

Updated
COVID-19
3 min read
Image used for representation only. Inox Air Products Plant, a major oxygen supplier to Delhi hospitals.
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Amid reports of a crippling shortage of oxygen across hospitals in Delhi, the Director-Medical of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in the national capital told ANI on Friday, 23 April, that 25 sickest patients have passed away in the last 24 hours at the hospital.

According to ANI, the Director had said that the hospital only has a stock of oxygen for another two hours and ventilators and BiPAP are not working efficiently.

Speaking to NDTV, the hospital's Chairman DS Rana did not link the deaths to the oxygen shortage, saying that a large number of patients are in a serious condition in the hospital. However, he said that the hospital is facing a severe oxygen shortage.

However, a source at the hospital told The Indian Express that all the patients were critical and on high flow oxygen support. PTI also quoted a source saying that low pressure oxygen was the likely cause of the deaths.

The hospital reportedly requires oxygen to be airlifted urgently as the lives of another 60 of the sickest patients are in peril.

Soon after the urgent plea, an oxygen tanker has now arrived at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, visuals showed.

Meanwhile, Dr Sumit Ray of Holy Family Hospital told ANI that the hospital has liquid medical oxygen that will last one hour and the backup oxygen supply for last two hours. “We are waiting for Linde to come and fill the oxygen tanks,” he said.

Oxygen supply woes have been raging in Delhi for days now as hospitals across the capital gasp for the life-saving gas, restricted by its neighbours – Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

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Max Hospital Faces Acute Shortage

Meanwhile, Delhi’s Max Hospital on Friday morning took to Twitter to send out an SOS, saying that they only had an hour’s oxygen supply remaining and had been waiting for fresh supplies from INOX since 1 am.

The hospital chain said that they had over 700 patients admitted and were in need of immediate assistance.

Some time later, the DCP South Delhi’s Twitter handle replied to the tweet, saying that oxygen had reached Max Smart, one of the hospitals sending out an SOS, while another vehicle carrying the life-saving gas is en route to the other.

Max, too, acknowledged the receipt of the oxygen tankers carrying the emergency supplies in a tweet.

Max Moves Delhi HC Over Oxygen Shortage

Max Healthcare had on Wednesday moved the Delhi HC citing an acute shortage of oxygen. Max had informed the court that it currently has only three hours of oxygen and if the oxygen runs outs, the lives of 400 patients, out of which 262 are COVID patients, are under threat.

Max Group of Hospitals had released a press statement detailing the hours of oxygen supply left at its hospitals across the capital. According to the statement, all hospitals had less than 24 hours of supply left, with some having just 2-3 hours of oxygen left when the press release came.

Later on Wednesday night, an oxygen tanker from Kashipur, Uttar Pradesh, made its way to Max Hospital in Saket, which had 185 COVID-19 patients and less than 18 hours of oxygen left.

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Crippling Oxygen Shortage in Delhi

Several major hospitals in Delhi, like Max, Apollo, Sri Ganga Ram and Fortis, are dependent on oxygen suppliers from the neighbouring states, but the restrictions continue even after the Delhi High Court ruled against any curb.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on 22 April held a press conference stating that 700 tonnes/day is required by the UT to sustain its current demand of oxygen in hospitals.

According to Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, some hospitals are completely depleted of their oxygen supplies and are now relying on oxygen cylinders procured from other hospitals who have larger stocks.

On Thursday, the Delhi High Court directed all authorities concerned to ensure strict compliance of the MHA order, that there shall be no restriction on inter-and intra-state movement of medical oxygen.

The Ministry of Home Affairs, in an order on Thursday, said that no restriction shall be imposed on the movement of medical oxygen between the states, and transport authorities shall be instructed to accordingly allow free inter-state movement of oxygen.

This order came after several hospitals in the national capital rushed to the High Court pleading for help, as they were running out of oxygen supply in their units, after Haryana government allegedly sealed supplier plants.

(With inputs from ANI.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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