Oxygen crisis deepens in India » Kashmir Media Service

45 patients die in Delhi’s just two hospitals

New Delhi, April 24 (KMS): As India faces a serious oxygen crisis, 20 critically ill patients die overnight at Delhi’s Jaipur Golden Hospital.

The death of twenty-five COVID-19 patients was reported at Ganga Ram Hospital on Friday in the previous 24 hours while the lives of another 60 such patients was reported to be at risk.

A senior official at Ganga Ram Hospital said Ventilators and BiPAP machines are not working effectively. He said the hospital authorities are resorting to manual ventilation in ICUs and the emergency department. “Lives of another 60 ‘sickest’ patients are at risk. Major crisis likely,” he said.

Hospitals in Delhi issued SOS alerts on Friday, saying they had only a few hours’ supply of oxygen left and pleading for government help, while social media was flooded with requests for oxygen cylinders, shared by people seeking urgent care for their relatives.

Special train services began moving tanks of oxygen from steel plants to the worst affected areas in an attempt to relieve the crisis. Shortages are so severe that some states deployed armed police to guard supplies, following reports of theft by desperate families.

Hospitals across northern and western India, including Delhi, were running out of beds and oxygen, according to officials and doctors. “Oxygen will last another two hours,” said Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi in a statement on Friday morning.

Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, which was caring for 160 Covid patients, announced at 6pm on Friday it had only 30 minutes’ worth of oxygen left. It had been waiting for supplies since Thursday night, it 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 said.

Pertinently, India reported 346,786 fresh coronavirus infections on Saturday, taking the cumulative caseload to 16,610,481, according to Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). Amid oxygen shortage and faltering health system in the country, India saw 2,624 deaths in highest single-day spike. The death toll from the deadly infection stands at 189,549. The country now has more than 2.55 million active cases.

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