At least 8 people, including a doctor, died at Delhi’s Batra Hospital on Saturday after the facility of medical oxygen in the hospital had run dry. According to reports, the shortage of oxygen supply occurred between 12.30 pm to 1.35 pm in the hospital.
Among those who lost their lives was the hospital’s gastroenteritis head Dr R K Himthani (62). Currently, more than 300 patients are undergoing treatment in the hospital, of which 48 are in the critical care unit.
The hospital’s medical director Dr SCL Gupta confirmed that the patients died due to lack of oxygen. He said, Of course, if the hospital runs without oxygen for half an hour… Eight Covid patients have been declared dead so far. There are five others who are in the process of resuscitation. They are critical, he was quoted saying to Indian Express.
For the second time in the space of a week, the hospital faced the shortage of liquid oxygen. The hospital authorities had been raising alarms over the impending shortage of oxygen since Saturday afternoon. Exactly a week ago, the hospital received a last-minute re-supply that arrived minutes after its oxygen reserves ran out.
Earlier in the morning, Dr Sudhanshu Bankata, Batra’s Executive Director, sent out a video SOS. We have just run out of oxygen… currently surviving on some cylinders. Over the next 10 minutes that will also run out. We are again in crisis mode. The Delhi government is trying to help but their tanker is some distance away, he said.
The national capital has been grappling with the shortage in oxygen supply amid a huge surge in coronavirus cases. The city has recorded between 24,000 and 28,000 cases per day over the past two weeks, and has also reported record numbers of Covid-related deaths per day.
The government has said the quota of oxygen in Delhi has been raised to 490 metric tonnes per day – against an estimated demand of around 700 MT – but supply is only around 400 MT.
Meanwhile, the surge in Covid-19 cases across the country has left hospitals overworked, doctors traumatised, and resources like beds, medicines, and oxygen in perilously short supply. The scale of the crisis is so huge, that it prompted the global community to step in, with oxygen concentrators, tankers, and other equipment being flown in by the United States, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and other countries.