Express News Service
NEW DELHI: In a heart-wrenching tragedy, 20 COVID-19 patients lost their lives due to lack of oxygen at Jaipur Golden Hospital in the national capital. Reports suggested that this number may go up further.
The hospital administration which has moved the High Court demanding oxygen supply, has confirmed to The New Indian Express that 20 critical care COVID patients have died due to lack of high pressure oxygen.
“The loss of lives was because our oxygen was late by seven hours. We needed good pressure oxygen which could not be maintained. This worsened the situation,” DK Baluja, MD Jaipur Golden Hospital told The New Indian Express.
The director further informed that the crisis is not over as after making several SOS calls they have just four hours of oxygen left at the hospital which is fast depleting and the situation could again repeat if something is not done right now.
Meanwhile, SOS messages are pouring in from hospitals across the city with requests to arrange oxygen immediately. Some said they are left with oxygen sufficient for a few hours. Hundreds of patients are admitted to different hospitals in the national capital.
As the oxygen crisis aggravates, reports suggest that the hospital administrations are advising patients to relocate or make arrangements for it on their own.
On Saturday, shortage of oxygen was reported from Moolchand Hospital, Guru Tegbahadur Hospital, Saroj Hospital, Mata Chanan Devi Hospital, Batra Hospital, Maharaja Agrasen Hospital and several other small nursing homes.
Through a tweet, Moolchand Hospital sought the intervention of the Prime Minister’s Office and Chief Minister’s Office to resolve the oxygen crisis.
“Urgent sos help. We have less than 2 hours of oxygen supply @Moolchand_Hosp. We are desperate have tried all the nodal officer numbers but unable to connect. Have over 135 COVID pts with many on life support #. @ArvindKejriwal @CMODelhi @LtGovDelhi @satinderjain26 @PMOIndia,” the hospital tweeted on Saturday morning.
According to Jaipur Golden Hospital, there are a total of 200 COVID patients in the hospital of which 25 to 30 are in critical care and the remaining also need oxygen.
“Somehow we got 1500 tons of oxygen last night after running and appealing to everyone — governments, social groups, hospitals, oxygen companies. But we will have to do all of that again it seems today, because we do not have sufficient requirement. The government promised us 3600 litres of oxygen per day but that is nowhere,” added Baluja.
However, the Delhi Police on Saturday came to the rescue of Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital (GTBH) on Saturday and facilitated oxygen supply to the hospital. A major crisis could be averted by the prompt action by the police team led by deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Shahdara.
According to the sources, a message and call was received from the nodal officer at GTBH for police assistance to transport two tankers from an oxygen plant in Modinagar in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.
The details of the tanker and driver details were shared and the police swung into action. The DCP coordinated with senior police officials in Ghaziabad (UP) to ensure swift transportation with police escort.
A team of Delhi Police met the UP Police team midway and took over the responsibility of the tanker.
The oxygen supply could finally reach GTBH within an hour of dispatch through the green corridor.
Delhi Police have also been helping hospitals in procuring oxygen cylinders. The force also facilitated revival of an idle oxygen plant in west Delhi’s Mundka.
The Delhi High Court said on Saturday made a strong observation while hearing a petition about short supply of oxygen in a hospital. The court remarked that if any official at the central, state or local administration was found obstructing the supply of gas, then “we will hang that man”.
The observation was made by a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli. “We will not spare anyone,” the bench added.
The court told the Delhi government to inform the Centre also about such officials of the local administration so that it could take action against them.
An attendant complained that a patient is waiting for an oxygen bed at a government hospital from Friday afternoon and contemplating shifting to Agra or Alwar.
The Delhi government has set up a round the clock control room to ensure oxygen supply to city hospitals.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who is also the nodal minister for Covid management, went to a 24-hour oxygen control room, where senior bureaucrats are deployed to coordinate among hospitals and gas suppliers, on Friday midnight to check the functioning himself.
“Oxygen supply war room … at midnight The team lead by IAS officer @bidhuriias is working hard to respond to all SOS calls from hospitals if their vendor has not met their demand for oxygen or there is urgent need. Every call is an emergency call to save lives,” he tweeted.