Delhi Woman Pleads in Vain for Oxygen, Loses Mother to COVID

Visuals of the wailing woman collapsing outside an oxygen refilling unit went viral on social media.

2 min read
 Shruti Saha, who lost her mother due to a shortage in oxygen supply, wails on a Delhi street.

With the unprecedented surge in COVID cases, the oxygen-shortage crisis in the country is only getting worse.

Social media is flooded with visuals of people begging authorities to provide oxygen, long queues to refill oxygen cylinders, and patients collapsing outside hospitals, waiting in queues to get admitted.

One such story is that of Shruti Saha, who spent hours on the streets of Delhi hoping to refill an oxygen cylinder for hermother. She was helpless as her search went futile. Her COVID-positive mother passed away due to a lack of oxygen.

As per a report by Reuters, Saha was waiting outside a refilling plant at an industrial estate of the national capital. She pleaded to police authorities, going down on her knees, to open up the facility so she could get the oxygen to her mother in time, but all in vain.

“We have been out of the house since 2 am. There is no oxygen anywhere in Delhi. Finally, we reached here. I kept telling them mother is serious,” Saha said, as per the report.

As she waited in queue, a phone call from her home informed her of her mother’s demise. Visuals on social media show Saha collapsing and wailing as passerbys tried to console her.

"For two days, we tried for beds in so many hospitals. Take me home now," Saha said in the video, and was taken away by a young man who accompanied her, leaving her oxygen cylinder behind.

One death due to COVID in every four minutes is being reported in the national capital. Delhi is seeing a positivity rate of over 32 percent, resulting in crowding of all hospitals.

The national capital is also witnessing an oxygen shortage, as patients gasp for breath amid the pandemic. Several prominent hospitals have made SOS calls due to an oxygen crisis in the last few weeks.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government had projected the capital’s oxygen demand at 780 metric tonnes, as several hospitals reported a severe shortage of medical oxygen for the past two weeks. However, it has been supplied with 490 metric tonnes of oxygen.

India on Friday, 30 April reported 3,86,452 new COVID-19 cases, 3,498 deaths, and 2,97,540 discharges in the last 24 hours, as per the Union Health Ministry. The total cases in the country now stand at 1,87,62,976.

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