Oxygen tanker and cylinders being transported to help treat COVID-19 patients, April 18, 2021. Photo: PTI
New Delhi: A day after Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal flagged an acute shortage of oxygen supplies in the national capital, and the Delhi high court ordered the Centre to take urgent steps, the city’s biggest medical facilities received a late night refill on Tuesday, news reports said.
According to NDTV, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital received 14,000 cubic metres of oxygen in two separate consignments – Tuesday late night and Wednesday morning. The supplies are believed to last for a day or two.
“4,500 cubic metres were supplied by a private vendor. 6,000 cubic metres by Inox. The total requirement at present is 11,000 cubic metres. The supply should last 24 hours till 9 am tomorrow. Indian Oxygen and Inox have promised to refill the tanks during the day,” chairman Dr D.S. Rana told NDTV.
The hospital has 485 COVID-19 beds, of which 475 are occupied. Around 120 patients are currently in the ICU.
Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan Hospital – Delhi’s biggest COVID-19 facility – received 10 tonnes of oxygen supplies Tuesday night, the report said.
Government-run Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital, which was on the brink of exhausting oxygen supplies, too, received a refill last night.
— Hemant Rajaura (@hemantrajora_) April 20, 2021
At Max Hospital in east Delhi’s Patparganj, the situation last night was reportedly nightmarish as one consignment from Inox, which was expected to reach at 2 am, arrived only at 8 this morning. The officials told NDTV that even this consignment is not enough to last beyond the afternoon as of the 300 patients in the hospital, 200 are on oxygen support.
Deen Dayal Upadhyay hospital also received oxygen supplies late Tuesday night. Similarly, Ambedkar Nagar Hospital received fresh supply of oxygen at 5 am which officials said can last till 24 hours.
The chief minister had voiced concerns over a shortage in supply of oxygen, urging the Centre to intervene immediately.
“Some hospitals are left with just a few hours of oxygen,” Kejriwal had tweeted.
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia posted a note on Twitter mentioning the status of oxygen stock in various hospitals.
दिल्ली में अधिकतर अस्पतालों में केवल अगले 8 से 12 घंटे के लिए ही ऑक्सिजन उपलब्ध है.
हम एक हफ़्ते से दिल्ली को ऑक्सिजन सप्लाई कोटा बढ़ाने की माँग कर रहे हैं जोकि केंद्र सरकार को करना है . अगर कल सुबह तक पर्याप्त मात्रा में अस्पतालों में ऑक्सिजन नहीं पहुँची तो हाहाकार मच जाएगा. pic.twitter.com/omO7RCTaCj
— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) April 20, 2021
According to the note, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, Burari Hospital, Ambedkar Hospital, Sanjay Gandhi Hospital, BL Kapoor Hospital and Max Hospital in Patparganj were among those having only eight to 12 hours of oxygen left at 6 pm on Tuesday.
The Delhi high court slammed the Centre for not enforcing a ban on industrial use of oxygen immediately. “Are you going to tell patients to wait till April 22 for oxygen?” the court asked the Centre.
The central government had prohibited the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes from April 22, to meet growing demand for COVID-19 patients.
Meanwhile, the chief minister claimed that the quota of oxygen meant for Delhi was being diverted to other states by the Centre.
Del facing acute shortage of oxygen. In view of sharply increasing cases, Del needs much more than normal supply. Rather than increasing supply, our normal supply has been sharply reduced and Delhi’s quota has been diverted to other states.
OXYGEN HAS BECOME AN EMERGENCY IN DEL
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 18, 2021
The chief minister also wrote to Union minister Piyush Goyal saying that 140 metric tonnes of oxygen meant for Delhi was diverted to other states and demanded that the supply be restored.
According to PTI, the Uttar Pradesh administration stationed officers at Greater Noida’s Inox Air Products Pvt Ltd’s factory, which manufactures and supplies oxygen, to check movement of oxygen cylinders, hindering supplies to hospitals in Delhi.
On April 19, the Delhi high court directed Inox not to divert supplies from Delhi to other places. Inox contributes to 50% of the medical oxygen market in India.
Apart from oxygen shortage, some hospitals in the city are also unable to accommodate COVID patients due to lack of beds, news reports said.
A senior administrator at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) told the Hindustan Times, “We already have about 900 COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital; we do not have the capacity for more. We ask patients who come to the emergency to look for beds elsewhere; we cannot refer them because we do not know where to refer them to.”
(With PTI inputs)