Still on 'beg and borrow' mode: Delhi hospitals' struggle for oxygen continues

Sources at the elite Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said in the morning they had been waiting for three days to refill their oxygen cylinders, used for transporting critically ill COVID patients.

Published: 26th April 2021 08:36 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th April 2021 08:36 PM   |  A+A-

People stand in queues to refill oxygen in cylinders in New Delhi, India, Friday, April 23, 2021. (Photo | AP)


NEW DELHI: Hospitals in the national capital continued to grapple with a shortage of oxygen, saying they are still operating on the "beg and borrow" mode, while three of them also raised the issue before the Delhi High Court on Monday, stating they were not receiving enough supplies.

Sources at the elite Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said in the morning they had been waiting for three days to refill their oxygen cylinders, used for transporting critically ill COVID patients.

The hospital received 64 refilled cylinders around 4.20 PM.

The Jaipur Golden Hospital in Rohini took to social media, posting at 12 noon that they were still awaiting their supplies.

There was no update till around 7.30 pm if the hospital had received the supply or not.

Bansal Hospital, where 40 COVID-19 patients are admitted, received the supply in the nick of time, said Delhi Police officials who arranged the cylinders.

SOS calls were also raised by Tulsi Multispeciality Hospital in Shahdra and Irene Hospital in Kalkaji.

Jaipur Golden Hospital, Maharaja Agrasen Hospital and Shanti Mukund Hospital raised the issue before the High Court, saying they are not receiving enough supply despite SOS calls.

"The hospital has 104 oxygen cylinders which are used while moving extremely sick COVID patients in case of emergency which is happening quite frequently now. All the cylinders were sent three days ago to different locations for emergency refill. For the last three days, our staff is camping there but to no avail," said an official at Ganga Ram Hospital.

The official added the elite hospital is on "beg and borrow" mode.

The hospital later confirmed they received 64 refilled cylinders and also 10 tonnes of liquid oxygen during the day.

Jaipur Golden Hospital tweeted, "We are trying to get in touch with INOX @inoxairproducts since morning to ensure our daily oxygen supply reaches on time. Have not got any response or dispatch note yet. Alerting everyone now in the hope of preventing another SOS situation today."

Twenty people died at the hospital on Saturday amid a shortage of oxygen.

The Delhi High Court also took strong note of alleged black-marketing of oxygen cylinders, reportedly being sold at Rs 1 lakh per unit in the national capital for treating seriously ill COVID-19 patients, and asked the AAP government to take action against those indulging in it, saying distribution of gas cylinders is "your baby".

Hospitals across the national capital and its suburbs have been sending out desperate messages of help on social media and other platforms, flagging their dwindling stocks of oxygen.

The Railways had announced that the first Oxygen Express train for the city carrying around 70 tonnes of the life-saving commodity will depart from Jindal Steel Works plant in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh, on Sunday night.

Central government sources had also said that eight pressure swing adsorption (PSA) oxygen generation plants are being installed in Delhi from the PM-Cares fund and they will enhance the capacity of medical oxygen by 14.4 metric tonnes.

Delhi recorded 350 COVID-19 deaths on Sunday with the government deciding to extend the ongoing lockdown for another week.


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