Oxygen crisis: 25 ‘sickest’ patients die at Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in last 24 hours

New Delhi: Twenty-five “sickest” COVID-19 patients have died at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here in the last 24 hours, and the lives of another 60 such patients are at risk, officials said on Friday, amid a serious oxygen crisis unfolding in the national capital.

A source said “low pressure oxygen” could be the likely cause for the deaths.

“The oxygen stock will last another two hours. Ventilators and BiPAP machines are not working effectively,” a senior official at the hospital said.

“Lives of another 60 ‘sickest’ patients at risk. Major crisis likely,” he said.

The hospital authorities are resorting to manual ventilation in ICUs and the emergency department, according to the official.

There are more than 500 coronavirus patients, including around 150 on high flow oxygen support, admitted in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital located in central Delhi.

On Thursday night, the hospital officials had sent an SOS to the government, saying there’s only five hours of oxygen left at the healthcare facility and requesting that it be replenished urgently.

“At 8 pm, oxygen in store is for five hours for peripheral use till 1 am and less for high flow use. Need urgent oxygen supplies,” an official had said.

The hospital had received some oxygen around 12.30 am, but the stock had to be supplemented later, sources said.

“A tanker carrying two tonnes of oxygen is stuck near Ambedkar Hospital,” a source said.

Several private hospitals in the city have been struggling to replenish their oxygen supply for the last four days.

Some of them have even requested the Delhi government to transfer patients to other healthcare facilities.

While some hospitals have managed to make short-term arrangements, there is no immediate end to the crisis in sight, a government official had said on Thursday.

In a letter to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said six private hospitals had exhausted their oxygen supply by Thursday evening.

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