Hospitals in Delhi are gasping for oxygen and sending out SOS via Twitter and journalists to the Centre and the Delhi government as their oxygen cylinders are in short supply. The national capital has seen more than 20,000 cases since April 18 with rises each day.
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Holy Family Hospital, Fortis Hospital, Max Hospitals, Shanti Mukand Hospital, Metro Preet Vihar took to Twitter to alert authorities that they are running out of their oxygen supply. Some of the hospitals including, Fortis, Gangaram, Sri Balaji, Max, Batra Hospitals, Saroj Specialty Hospital, and Aakash hospitals have approached the Delhi High Court asking them to intervene as they are finding it difficult to operate with their depleting oxygen levels.
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital director on Thursday morning stated that, 25 sickest patients have died in the past 24 hrs at the hospital. Oxygen will last another 2 hours."
Max Hospital early on Friday morning tweeted that they would not admit any more patients across their hospitals in Delhi NCR as they had run out of oxygen but later deleted it. Below is a screenshot of the deleted tweet:
Max later on Friday tweeted that they had received a few supplies for two hospitals in Delhi but the same would last only suffice for two hours and that they were awaiting more supplies.
Fortis group on April 22 evening tweeted that that their hospital in Haryana had only 45 minutes of Oxygen left, which eventually replenished. They tweeted that their oxygen supply was stuck at Bhiwadi and they needed it replenished.
On the morning of April 22, Saroj Specialty Hospital moved the Delhi High Court claiming they had oxygen left only for the next one hour. While their oxygen supplies were restored during the hearing, Sri Balaji Hospital also approached court with the same plea. Both the hospital's agreed to share their oxygen reserves with each other.
They had filed their plea in the morning but by 3pm their oxygen supply was restored and the lawyer representing them stated that they would want to share their stock with the other hospital.
Vasant Kunj based Indian Spinal Injuries Centre also tweeted that they do not have enough oxygen to cater to their 160 patients.
Delhi-based health journalists tweeted a list of total 15 hospitals with their oxygen stocks and said that this list was shared by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. The list includes the names of government hospital big ones like Babasaheb Ambedkar hospital (317 beds) and GTB hospital (900 beds) and major private ones like Max Hospitals (242 in Shalimarbagh) and Ganga Ram (519 beds)
BOOM reached out to four hospitals from Sisodia's list to confirm the list and employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity and not naming the hospital, confirmed that their supplies were still low or fully exhausted.
Shanthi Mukund's CEO Dr. Sunil Saggar also broke down in an interview to ANI while talking about the oxygen supply. The hospital finally received a few supplies on April 22.
In a suo moto hearing held by the Delhi High Court to understand the COVID-19 situation along with PIL filed by Rakesh Malhotra, an advocate, as well as to address the pleas that the hospitals asked the court to intervene for, the Delhi HC asked the Centre to oxygen supply details.
An additional secretary representing the MOHFW said that Delhi was being supplied close to 480 metric tonnes of oxygen for medical use but according to the Delhi government, it required close to 700 MT to keep up with its O2 demands.
The Ministry of Home Affairs shared a letter asking states to allow for the smooth transport of oxygen supplies and not block the movement as the Centre allocated fresh supplies to states.
Along with Delhi, several other hospitals in different states are also reporting a depletion in their oxygen supplies as the number of cases across India increase. India reported 3.32 lakh cases on Friday with 2,263 deaths.
On April 10, according to MOHFW, the city had reported 8521 cases and 39 deaths. On April 23, the city reported 26,169 cases and 309 deaths.