GTB Hospital Gets Oxygen on Brink of Exhausting Supply for 500

GTB hospital was expected to exhaust its oxygen supply used for the treatment of COVID patients by 2 am.

4 min read

Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Rahul Sanpui

Less than 30 minutes before Delhi’s GTB Hospital was to run out of oxygen supply for over 500 COVID positive patients, an oxygen tanker from INOX arrived at the hospital. GTB hospital was expected to exhaust its oxygen supply used for treatment of COVID patients by 2 am on Tuesday night, 20 March.

The footage of the truck arriving was shared on Twitter by many volunteers and doctors as a happy ending to an otherwise terrifying health infrastructure crisis.

"4,500 cubic metres were supplied by a private vendor. 6,000 cubic metres by Inox. The total requirement at present is 11,000 cubic metres. The supply should last 24 hours till 9 am tomorrow. Indian Oxygen and Inox have promised to refill the tanks during the day," Dr Rana told NDTV.


Many states are reporting a shortage of healthcare facilities like medicines and hospital beds to treat the steeply rising surge of COVID cases across the country. Many hospitals across Maharashtra put out SOS calls on Tuesday reporting a critical shortage of oxygen to treat their patients.

Delhi's Repeated SOS Calls

Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain urged Railways Minister Piyush Goyal to “restore oxygen supply chain to avert a major crisis” as he informed of an “acute shortage of oxygen at GTB Hospital” on Twitter. He added, “Oxygen may not last beyond 4 hours. More than 500 corona patients on oxygen.”

Anil Jain, Principal of UCMS, had written to the Health Minister at 9 pm in a WhatsApp message requesting for an expedition of supply of liquid medical oxygen. He warned of the "catastrophe that may occur" in the hospital that is a dedicated COVID facility serving over 500 patients.

Anil Jain alerted the Health Minister that access to their vendor, M/S INOX was getting very difficult.

"As per their (INOX) version, the local district authorities like District Magistrate and SSP do not allow the vendor to send the supply to other states like Delhi,” wrote Anil Jain.

Earlier in the day, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted about many hospitals in the national capital, experiencing an acute shortage with medical oxygen being available only for the next 8-12 hours. He said there have been repeated demands to the Centre in the past week to increase the oxygen supply quota to Delhi.


GTB Hospital has been a dedicated COVID treatment facility. It has experienced a heavy inflow of patients, as the country sees a massive surge in COVID positive cases.

On Friday, 16 April, GTB Hospital was visited by Sisodia to review the patient admission system. The government has also informed that eight PSA Oxygen Generation Plants are being installed in Delhi, which will increase the capacity by 14.4 metric tonnes.

The national capital, which is under a six-day lockdown that started on Monday, 19 April, reported over 32,000 daily cases in the last 24 hours on Monday.


Not the Only One

Max Hospital in the national capital had informed NDTV that its supplies have been disrupted and it has only six to twelve hours worth of oxygen left. One of the biggest hospitals in Delhi, Sir Ganga Ram hospital, has also said that their supplies will run for around eight hours.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted to the Centre, asking for more medical oxygen after two top hospitals – Max Group and Gangaram – who are also treating a huge number of COVID patients.

Both hospitals received oxygen on late Tuesday night and pre-dawn Wednesday morning, when they were at the brink of exhausting their supplies.

State-run Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital received supplies late night after it too reported a shortage in liquid oxygen supply.

However, for Max Hospital, Patpargang, the struggle for oxygen hasn't ended. They received a consignment at 8 am on Wednesday, instead of the 2 am, and the 6-hour delay heavily burdened the healthcare officials. Hospital authorities told NDTV that from the 300 COVID patients admitted, at least 200 are dependent on oxygen support.

Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan Hospital, Delhi's biggest COVID facility received 10 tonnes of supplies last night. The administration said to ANI, "This supply is sufficient for the current situation.”


Shortage in Maharashtra

Maccare Super-Speciality Hospital in Ahmednagar on Tuesday said that it only has three to four hours of oxygen supply left. “Right now there is shortage of oxygen... there has been shortage for the past few days but somehow we were managing. Today there is an acute crisis,” Dt Satish Sonavane said, NDTV reported.

The hospital is treating 85 COVID patients, out of which, nearly 70 are on oxygen support.

As per Dr Sonavane, the demand in the district is 60 metric tonnes, but it is only receiving 23 tonnes of oxygen.

Dr Darak from Pune’s Yog Multispeciality Hospital informed that one patient has died due to lack of oxygen supply and there is only one hour’s supply left. “For the last two days, we're struggling due to lack of liquid oxygen. Currently, 11 patients are on ventilators.”

Two of Mumbai's private hospitals – Vinayaka Hospital and Riddhi Vinayak Multispeciality Hospital – had reported 11 COVID-related deaths due to lack of oxygen or LMO (Liquid Medical Oxygen) in Nalasopara, Palghar district last week.

The central government on Friday, 16 April, had issued several emergency orders pertaining to the rising medical oxygen demand, as the country grapples with the second wave of the COVID pandemic amid a crumbling health infrastructure.

(With inputs from NDTV)

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