NEW DELHI: Hospitals are suffering from acute shortage of oxygen despite strict government orders to ensure uninterrupted production and supply of medical oxygen, Apollo Hospitals Joint Managing Director Sangita Reddy said on Friday.
She was responding to a tweet from rival Max Healthcare which said that Max Smart Hospital and Max Hospital Saket were left with less than one hour's oxygen supplies.
"Hospitals continue to gasp for breath despite govt orders being issued. Its now becoming an hourly challenge for many hospitals. every minute of delay on commitments made can cost lives!! ," Reddy tweeted tagging union ministers, Delhi Chief Minister and other state ministers.
Earlier Max Healthacre tweeted: "SOS - Less than an hour's Oxygen supplies at Max Smart Hospital & Max Hospital Saket. Awaiting promised fresh supplies from INOX since 1 am over 700 patients admitted, need immediate assistance."
Centre has directed states to ensure uninterrupted production and supply of medical oxygen and its transport along inter-state borders and said the district magistrate and superintendent of police of the district concerned will be held responsible if there is any violation of its order.
On Thursday, Reddy had asked the government to tag oxygen tanks as ambulances and enable quick green corridor movement across states.
As India continued to record a huge number of new COVID-19 infections, hospitals in the national capital and other major cities complained of 'dangerously low' levels of oxygen that is needed for critically ill patients.
The situation has been made worse by states that house oxygen manufacturing units restricting inter-state supplies.
Reddy on Thursday had tweeted about an oxygen tanker being stopped by Haryana police from entering a refilling plant at Panipat.
Her tweet, which tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top ministers as well as the health ministry, seemed to have worked and the tanker was allowed inside.
Earlier in the day, she had tweeted: 'While we ramp up production and redirect IND supply of #Oxygen, the URGENT factor is to allow free movement of tankers across state borders.
Govt pls tag O2 tankers as AMBULANCES!! Create a green corridor 4 tanker movement with CRPF escort The situation is CRITICAL for Hospitals & Drs.
' India on Friday reported 3,32,730 fresh COVID-19 new cases in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day tally any country reported ever since the pandemic began last year.
Meanwhile, 2,263 more people succumbed to the infection, taking the nationwide toll to 1,86,920, according to the data provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Friday morning.
Over the past one month, the COVID-19 outbreak in India has exploded. As cases worldwide reach new weekly records, 40 per cent of the infections are coming from India.