Delhi Police steps in to arrange oxygen for city hospitals

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New Delhi, Apr 22 (PTI) Amid healthcare facilities in the national capital facing an acute shortage of oxygen, the lives of over 200 COVID-19 patients were saved on Thursday after police managed to arrange oxygen cylinders for the Fortis Hospital in northwest Delhi's Shalimar Bagh, officials said.

At around 11.05 am, an e-mail was received from Mahipal Bhanot, the zonal director of the hospital, saying the healthcare facility was running out of its oxygen stock, which would last only three-four hours, they said.

'A truck with 1.5 tonne oxygen from Bawana and another with 2.5 tonne oxygen from Rajasthan's Bhiwadi were duly escorted by our teams and the vehicles reached the Fortis Hospital in time,' Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northwest) Usha Rangnani said.

Another SOS call was received from the Park Hospital in west Delhi's Khyala, where 100 COVID-19 patients are admitted.

Station House Officer (SHO), Vikaspuri Mahendra Singh Dahiya contacted an oxygen plant at Mundka but only three cylinders could be made available from there. However, 27 oxygen cylinders were arranged for the hospital from an oxygen plant in Mayapuri, a senior police officer said.

According to the police in north Delhi, they managed to arrange 20 oxygen cylinders from Bawana and another 10 from a Moti Nagar refilling centre for the NKS Super Specialty Hospital after it approached the police at around 1 pm, saying its oxygen stock would last for only two-three hours. In Shahdara, a team from the Anand Vihar police station saved the lives of around 110 critical COVID-19 patients by providing 2,300 kg liquified oxygen to the Shanti Mukund Hospital from INOX Air Products in Uttar Pradesh's Modi Nagar, the police said.

The hospital authorities informed the police that due to a deficiency of liquified oxygen, the lives of the COVID-19 patients were in danger as they had oxygen for only two-three hours.

'In view of the critical situation, our police team approached the higher officials of INOX Air Products and instructed them to supply the requisite 2,300-kg liquified oxygen to the hospital within an hour. They agreed, but said the supply cannot be delivered on time due to the long distance,' Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahadra) R Sathiyasundaram said.

The Delhi Police then contacted the IG, Meerut range and in coordination with the Uttar Pradesh police, a green corridor was created for the truck containing oxygen from Modi Nagar to Delhi, the officer said.

The vehicle escorted by police personnel reached the Shanti Mukund Hospital in two hours, he added. PTI AMP RC