01 May 2021: Delhi hospital runs out of oxygen, 8 including doctor die
At least eight patients died at Delhi's Batra Hospital this afternoon after the private facility ran out of oxygen supply, reports said.
The deceased included 62-year-old Dr. RK Himthani, the head of the hospital's gastroenterology department, Medical Director SCL Gupta confirmed to the media.
The hospital allegedly operated without oxygen for 80 minutes after around 11:45 am.
Here are more details on this.
Fact: 'A matter of shame'
"It is a matter of shame that people are dying due to lack of oxygen in the capital of the country," Gupta reportedly said. "One can only imagine the plight in other places."
Details: Death toll won't stop at 8, said hospital official
Dr. Sudhanshu Bankata, the Executive Director of Batra Hospital, warned the death toll "would not stop at eight."
"Once the patient's condition deteriorates then you cannot salvage that patient. There is a ripple effect, there would be many who must have destabilized by now and the number of deaths will certainly go up," he said, according to a report by Hindustan Times.
SOS: Hospital sent SOS at 7 am, still didn't get supply
According to the hospital, it had flagged the oxygen shortage with all the government-appointed officials at 7 am after it did not receive its allotted quota of liquid medical oxygen.
Despite the alarm, the facility failed to procure oxygen and completely ran out of the life-saving gas a few hours later.
Around 1 pm, Dr. Bankata issued another SOS alert through a video message.
Fact: AAP MLA said tanker would reach 'within five minutes'
A few minutes after the video message surfaced, Aam Aadmi Party MLA Raghav Chadha tweeted assuring that an oxygen tanker would reach the hospital "within five minutes." "Their regular supplier of oxygen has defaulted yet again due to alleged lack of oxygen supplies," Chadha wrote.
Family reaction: 'Families were running around for oxygen cylinders'
Ajeet Bhatia, who lost his 64-year-old aunt Kawaljeet Kaur Bhatia in today's incident, said, "My aunt...died because there was no oxygen. Her lungs were very infected. She was on the ventilator."
"Since 8 am there was oxygen crisis...Attendants of patients were running around. We (the family) brought oxygen cylinders," he was quoted as saying by NDTV.
Delhi High Court: 'You will arrange everything now,' Delhi HC slammed Centre
After learning about the fatalities at the Batra Hospital, the Delhi High Court pulled up the central government.
"We mean business...You will arrange everything now. 8 people have died...Will we shut our eyes to people dying in Delhi?" the High Court said.
It directed the Centre to ensure that the national capital receives its 490 metric tonnes of medical oxygen "today by whatever means."
Other incidents: Earlier, 20 died at Delhi hospital due to oxygen shortage
This is the second time in a week that Batra Hospital has run out of medical oxygen supply. On April 24, the facility had received a last-minute oxygen refill and hence managed to save lives.
Last week, at least 20 coronavirus patients had died at the Jaipur Golden Hospital in Delhi due to a shortage of medical oxygen.
Situation: The COVID-19 situation in India continues to worsen
Not only Delhi but several states have reported an acute shortage of oxygen and other essential medical supplies as India has been gripped by a dreadful second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the last 24 hours, the country logged 4,01,993 new infections - the highest-ever one-day surge for any country in the outbreak.
3,523 more fatalities took India's death toll past 2.11 lakh.