COVID-19: Delhi hospitals cry for oxygen, ministers send out SOS


Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Several hospitals are sending SOSes for medical oxygen with even CM Arvind Kejriwal and his ministers yet again redflagging the looming crisis in the wake of its ever-bulging demand for Covid patients. The dearth of oxygen supply or thinning stocks cuts across hospitals, including GTB Hospital, Acharya Bhikshu Hospital, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

On Tuesday, Kejriwal raised serious concern saying some hospitals are left with just a few hours of oxygen. “Serious oxygen crisis persists in Delhi. I again urge the Centre to urgently provide oxygen,” he tweeted. “Had a review meeting with officials… We are working on a war footing to ensure oxygen supply, and are also talking to the central government.” Kejriwal’s deputy Manish Sisodia tweeted out a list of eight public and 10 private hospitals which are falling short of oxygen supply.

“SOS phones are coming from all hospitals. People supplying oxygen are being stopped in different states. There should be no jungle raj between the states on the supply of oxygen. For this, the central government will have to be very sensitive and alert.” Health minister Satyendar Jain also put up a tweet tagging Union Minister Piyush Goyal with an image of a message sent by Dr Anil Jain, the principal of University College Of Medical Sciences, stating that GTB Hospital is on the verge of ‘catastrophe’ if oxygen is not provided earliest for 500 plus Covid patients.

In the face of limited supply, some hospitals are evacuating patients with less oxygen requirement to tide over the crisis. Some hospitals had to seek help from the Police to secure cylinders. “We have oxygen for all admitted patients, however there is shortage…we are struggling to get cylinders from all possible sources till now. But no patient needing admission has been turned away from this hospital,” Dr AK Mehta, Medical Superintendent from Acharya Bhikshu Hospital told this reporter.

Dr PS Nayyar from Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital acknowledged the crisis facing his facility. “There’s no ALTERNATIVE of oxygen. So far, we are managing. This is a problem of every hospital…haven’t thought of any alternative as of now. Any critical patient is admitted, never refused. We are using oxygen concentrators as of now.” he said. An official from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said 120 patients in ICU are heavily dependent on oxygen and it is needed on an urgent basis. “We have informed about it to the govts.”

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