COVID crisis: Delhi’s Ganga Ram Hospital achieves normal oxygen pressure after three days



NEW DELHI: With nine metric tonnes of oxygen supplied to it on Sunday, officials at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here said it is the first time in three days that all patients are getting the life-saving gas at “normal pressure”.

The elite hospital in central Delhi received three oxygen refills, totaling 9 MT, between 4:30 am and 6:30 pm.

“The oxygen pressure remained below normal for the last three days. This is the first time in this period that normal pressure has been achieved,” an official said.

The hospital received 3 MT of oxygen around 6 pm, which will last up to midnight.

“The hospital did not have to press the panic button the whole day. No SOS calls were made. We hope the night also passes peacefully,” the official said.

The hospital had raised an alarm at 10:30 pm on Saturday, saying its oxygen stock would last only an hour.

There were 130 patients in the ICU, including 30 on invasive ventilation, when the SOS was sent.

Around 12:20 am, it received a tanker, with the help of local AAP MLA Raghav Chadha, which supplied one metric tonne of oxygen, averting an impending crisis.

“It should last two hours,” a hospital spokesperson had said around 12:45 pm.

According to him, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital’s primary supplier in Faridabad was supposed to send a tanker before 3 am.

The tanker finally arrived at 4:15 am and delivered 5 metric tonnes of medical oxygen, the highest volume that the hospital has received in the last three days in one refill, he said.

Another tanker delivered one MT oxygen at 12:24 pm.

A third tanker arrived around 6 PM and delivered three MT of oxygen, which should last up to midnight.

Some hospitals in the national capital continued to grapple with severe shortage of medical oxygen on Saturday even after receiving emergency supplies with the help of the Delhi government and the police.

While some hospitals have managed to make short-term arrangements, there is no immediate end to the crisis in sight.

At least two private hospitals in Delhi — Saroj Super Speciality Hospital in Rohini and Batra Hospital in Tughlakabad Institutional Area — on Saturday asked families of patients to shift them to other healthcare facilities in view of oxygen shortage.

Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on Friday reported the death of 25 of its “sickest” patients as the administration grappled with depleting oxygen supplies.

“I appeal to both the Centre and the state to help. On one hand, they increased COVID beds and on the other, they can’t supply oxygen in sufficient quantity. How are we supposed to work?” the hospital’s chairman Dr D S Rana said.

“If this is COVID tsunami and the government has invoked the Disaster Management Act, then they should work according to it. We need immediate intervention,” he said.

Dr Rana also said, “The government is doing its best but, perhaps, they too are helpless. But then they should admit it and reduce patient intake.”

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