Delhi hospitals scamper to refill oxygen stocks amid acute shortage

·3-min read

New Delhi, May 3 (PTI) Authorities at several private hospitals in the national capital on Monday scampered to refill their oxygen stocks as the lives of many COVID patients hung by a thin thread amid an acute shortage of the life-saving gas.

Dr Pankaj Solanki, head of 50-bed Dharamveer Solanki Hospital in Rohini, said he is tired of making SOS calls and ''feels dejected''.

'Most of the times, there is a crisis (of oxygen). It has become difficult to manage even 10 patients now,' he said. Several people also took to the social media seeking help for the hospital.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Raghav Chadha said the city government has allocated four D-type oxygen cylinders to the hospital from the Rajghat Response Point in the afternoon.

'We shall spare no effort to address each and every SOS. But we at the Delhi Govt are raising #SOS too. Please give us our allocated share of oxygen,' he tweeted. Sudhanshu Bankata, executive director of Batra Hospital, which had stopped patient admissions on Sunday, said they are planning to further cut down the number of beds.

Twelve COVID-19 patients, including a senior doctor, had died at this south Delhi hospital after the facility ran out of medical oxygen for around 80 minutes on Saturday afternoon.

'We have reduced the number of beds from 307 to 276. We will further bring it down to 220 to match the oxygen consumption,' he said.

A K Dawar, whose mother is admitted at the MKW Hospital in Rajouri Garden said, 'My mother is admitted here. It's a non-COVID hospital and they don't have much oxygen left… they are facing difficulty in getting oxygen.' A doctor from Hamdard Institute of Medical Science and Research (HAHC) tweeted at around 4.50 pm on Monday saying they had an hour of oxygen left and their supplier was refusing to deliver the life-saving gas.

'Last LMO (liquid medical oxygen) received at 6 am today (Monday). No cylinder backup available,' the doctor tweeted as he highlighted that more than 100 patients were on oxygen support.

The doctor further said that the hospital was allotted 1.4 metric tonnes of oxygen as against the required 3.08 metric tonnes.

However, at around 7.10 pm, the doctor tweeted that oxygen had arrived at the hospital but stressed that had the delivery been a few minutes late, people would have died.

'Also tank capacity is half ton capacity. Lasts just 5-6 hours. We are hanging by a thin thread every few hours,' the doctor tweeted.

Meanwhile, the IBS Hospital in south Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar said their oxygen supply would last for another six hours.

'There are 37 patients in our hospital and six are on ventilator support and rest on oxygen support. We have oxygen left for only six hours and have informed the authorities but to no avail,” said a hospital official requesting anonymity.

“Yesterday, we received help from other hospitals like Moolchand and NIMHANS but we can't manage with just two-three cylinders,' the official added.

Hospitals across the national capital have been sending out SOS messages regarding their depleting oxygen supplies on a regular basis. PTI GVS SLB RHL