COVID-19: Hospitals in Delhi gasp for oxygen amid staggered supply

COVID-19: Hospitals in Delhi gasp for oxygen amid staggered supply

New Delhi: A number of hospitals in the national capital grappled with oxygen scarcity on Saturday amid a surge in coronavirus cases that has stretched the city’s healthcare infrastructure to the limits.

Twenty critically ill patients died overnight at Jaipur Golden Hospital in Delhi amid a serious oxygen crisis, officials said.

“The oxygen pressure has dipped as we are running out of stock,” Dr D K Baluja, the medical director of Jaipur Golden Hospital, told PTI.

He said the hospital has over 200 patients and they had only half-an-hour of oxygen was left at 10:45 am.

Batra Hospital in Tughlakabad Institutional Area received emergency oxygen supply from the Delhi government moments after it exhausted its stock, officials said.

Executive Director of the hospital, Sudhanshu Bankata, said the facility exhausted its oxygen stock around 9 am.

“Just now, we received an emergency supply from the Delhi government. It will last another one-and-a-half hours. Our supplier has not been responding to calls,” he said.

There are around 350 patients admitted in the hospital, of which 265 are COVID-19 positive and 30 are in the ICU.

Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, in the heart of the national capital, which requires a minimum of 11,000 cubic metres of oxygen daily was left with 200 cubic metres when a tanker with 1.5 tonnes of oxygen arrived, officials said.

“We were running oxygen at half the normal pressure. This supply of 1.5 tonnes of oxygen will may be two hours. The situation is scary,” an official said.

Twenty-five COVID patients in the elite hospital died in 24 hours and the lives of many more hung in precarious balance on Friday with the scramble for oxygen getting more frantic in hospitals across the national capital and its suburbs.

The medical director of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, Suresh Kumar said the facility’s oxygen stock can last up to eight hours. It is likely to be a few days before the crisis is resolved, he said.

Delhi logged 24,331 fresh COVID-19 cases and a record single-day jump of 348 deaths on Friday while the positivity rate stood at 32.43 per cent, according to the latest health bulletin.

The city has reported around 2,100 deaths due to the deadly virus in 11 days.

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