In Delhi 12, COVID-positive patients, including a doctor, died on Saturday afternoon as Delhi’s Batra Hospital ran out of oxygen. The hospital informed the Delhi High Court that it ran out of oxygen for more than an hour at 1.30 pm. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal expressed his sorrow tweeting, “This news is very painful…their lives could have been saved… by giving oxygen, Delhi should be given its quota [of oxygen, so] such deaths are not seen anymore. Delhi required 976 tonnes and yesterday only 312 was given. How can Delhi breathe?”
SCL Gupta, medical director of the hospital, on speaking to the media after the incident said the head of the gastroenterology department of the facility was among those who died identified as Dr RK Himthani. He had been admitted to the hospital for the last 15 to 20 days, according to PTI.
“It’s a matter of shame that people are dying due to lack of oxygen in the Capital of the country,” Mr. Gupta said. “One can only imagine the plight in other places.”
Six of the patients who died were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit ward and eight were dead at Batra Hospital after the oxygen supply reached late while six of them were on ICU on high flow oxygen.
We are running out of Oxygen. We are in a crisis mode”: Executive Director of Delhi’s Batra Hospital sends SOS #OxygenShortage on Twitter.
During a hearing on the coronavirus pandemic situation, Batra Hospital told the Delhi High Court that it ran out of oxygen for 80 minutes at 1.30 pm. Executive Director of Batra Hospital, Dr Sudhanshu Bankata at 1 p.m. said in a video message that they had run out of oxygen and said “Currently we are surviving on some oxygen cylinders, but that will also run out over the next 10 minutes,” he added. “The Delhi government is trying to help us out, but I believe their tanker is far away from our hospital.”
Later, Dr Sudhanshu Bankata said the next 24 hours would be “critical” and that more deaths due to lack of oxygen could not be ruled out. “Two hundred and twenty patients are currently on oxygen support,” he told NDTV.
While after this Aam Aadmi Party MLA Raghav Chadha tweeted assuring that an oxygen tanker was reaching the hospital “within five minutes”. “Their regular supplier of oxygen has defaulted yet again due to alleged ‘lack of oxygen supplies’ and is being pulled up,” Raghav Chadha tweeted.
Our SOS cryogenic tanker carrying Liquid Medical Oxygen is reaching Batra Hospital within 5 minutes. Their regular supplier of oxygen has defaulted yet again due to alleged ‘lack of oxygen supplies’ and is being pulled up. While the central government is also trying to pass the buck on the farmers for the slow delivery of oxygen to hospitals claiming the farmers were blocking the roads, the opposite is true because the farmers have cleared the roads for the oxygen tankers and been very helpful.
Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal said that “Delhi should be given its quota of oxygen, so such deaths are not seen anymore. Delhi required 976 tonnes and yesterday only 312 was given. How can Delhi breathe?” This suggested that the Central government is holding back oxygen, creating the oxygen crisis in Delhi.
The oxygen conundrum does not seem to be resolving even with the Supreme Court warning against “political bickering” between the Centre and Delhi government on supply of medical oxygen and other facilities.
On April 24, at least 20 coronavirus patients in Delhi died after the Jaipur Golden Hospital ran out of oxygen. A day earlier, 25 “sickest” coronavirus patients died overnight at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in the city during a last-minute rush for oxygen. Similar unfortunate incidents have been reported in several other parts of the country.
On Saturday, India became the first country to record more than four lakh coronavirus cases in a day, as the tally rose by 4,01,993, pushing the overall count of infections to 1,91,64,969 since the pandemic first broke out in India in January 2020. With 3,523 deaths, the total death toll climbed to 2,11,853 but it is suspected to be far more.
While General Tushar Mehta, representing the Center, claimed that there was no oxygen shortage, the reality on the ground is different and the question arises, if there is plenty of oxygen, then who is holding back the oxygen? The supply of oxygen lies in the Center’s hands. Is the Center holding it down just to tarnish “images” of State governments? This is happening in different places. If this is true then India is in very dangerous hands…