NEW DELHI: Some major government and private hospitals in Delhi received fresh stock of medical oxygen in the early hours of Wednesday, averting a crisis just in time, according to officials.
Gangaram Hospital received 4,500 cubic metres of oxygen supply from a private vendor before 3 am.
Another supplier sent 6,000 cubic metres of it later.
This stock should last till 9 am on Thursday, an official said.
All the 132 ICU beds in the hospital are occupied.
Only three of the 487 non-ICU beds are vacant.
An official at Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital confirmed that a truck carrying oxygen from a firm reached them around 1:30 am.
Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director of the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, said a truck carrying oxygen from a vendor reached the facility around 3 am.
LNJP and GTB have 400 ICU beds each.
All of theme are occupied.
Ambedkar Nagar Hospital received fresh supply of oxygen at 5 am which officials said can last till 24 hours.
A record 28,395 coronavirus cases and 277 deaths marked the aggravation of the pandemic situation in Delhi on Tuesday as the positivity rate shot up to 32.82 per cent -- meaning every third sample came out positive -- amid a "serious oxygen crisis" unfolding in the city.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had on Tuesday urged the Centre "with folded hands" to provide medical oxygen to Delhi and his deputy Manish Sisodia said there will be chaos in the city if the stocks are not replenished by Wednesday morning.
"Most hospitals in Delhi have only eight to 12 hours of oxygen left. We have been asking the Centre to increase its supply for the last seven days. There will be chaos in Delhi if hospitals do not get enough oxygen by Wednesday morning," Sisodia had tweeted in Hindi.
He had also posted a note on Twitter mentioning the status of oxygen stock in various hospitals.
According to the note, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, Burari Hospital, Ambedkar Hospital, Sanjay Gandhi Hospital, B L Kapoor Hospital and Max Hospital in Patparganj were among those having only eight to 12 hours of oxygen left at 6 pm on Tuesday.
ICU beds in Delhi hospitals were also filling up fast.
Only 28 of them were available for coronavirus patients in government and private hospitals across the national capital at 9 am on Wednesday, according to data from the city government's Delhi Corona app.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain had sent an SOS to Union minister Piyush Goyal at 10:20 pm, saying "oxygen at GTB Hospital may not last beyond 4 hrs".
"More than 500 corona patients on oxygen. Pl help @PiyushGoyal to restore oxygen supply to avert major crisis," he tweeted on Tuesday night.
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the central government to look into providing more beds in hospitals run by it in the national capital for COVID-19 patients as people needing hospitalisation now was "far greater" than last year's peak.
A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli asked the Health Ministry to look into the aspect in view of the prevailing circumstances and file a report on the next date of hearing on April 22.
The Delhi government said last year when the highest daily number of fresh cases was around 8,000, the Centre had allocated 4,000 beds for COVID-19 patients in the national capital.
However, this year Delhi has not even received that many beds when the daily count of fresh COVID-19 cases was increasing day by day with the last 24 hours seeing over 28,000 more infections.
Disputing the contention, the Centre said that beds in its hospitals were also required for non-COVID-19 patients who require dialysis or are suffering from serious ailments like cancer.
It said that it has operationalised 250 ICU beds at the DRDO COVID Care Hospital here and another 250 beds shall be put in place there by April 22.
The ministry also told the bench that it has decided to provide 25 medical officers and 75 paramedics to this COVID Care Centre from the Central Armed Paramilitary forces.
"In addition to the above, a makeshift hospital with 250 beds in Lady Hardinge Medical College and 36 in Safdarjung Hospital are being planned," it told the court.
"lt is further submitted that as per the demand of Delhi Government 763 ventilators have been supplied by the Government of India. In addition to that, Safdarjung Hospital has been provided with 105 ventilators, Ram Manohar Lohia 05 ventilators. LHMC 05 ventilators, Ayush Hospital 02 ventilators, ESIC hospital 10 ventilators, whereas DRDO facility has been provided with 500 ventilators," the ministry said.