Hospitals in Delhi they issued SOS warnings on Friday morning, warning that they had only a few hours of oxygen supply left, as another unprecedented wave of Covid-19 cases flooded health systems in major cities.
Hospital staff posted urgent messages on social media throughout Thursday and Friday, saying they could not handle the request and asking for help from the government.
Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi, which treats more than 500 patients with Covid, said 25 people had died in its wards in the previous 24 hours and warned of an impending crisis.
“Oxygen will last for another two hours. Fans and Bipap [breathing support machine] does not work efficiently. Recourse to manual ventilation in ICUs and emergencies. Probably a major crisis. The lives of another 60 of the sickest patients at risk need urgent intervention, ”the hospital said in a statement Friday morning. The tankers arrived at the hospital with oxygen two hours later.
Service provider Max Healthcare also posted an SOS message on Twitter warning that he had oxygen supplies in two of his hospitals for less than an hour, while on Thursday night Fortis Healthcare said her hospital in Haryana had “only 45 minutes of oxygen left”. Fortis called on authorities to allow an oxygen tanker from Bhiwadi, south of the capital, to reach his hospital.
As infections have pushed hospitals to fractures, some areas have been accused of blocking oxygen tankers from neighboring states.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia wrote to the health minister on Thursday to warn that supplies to six private hospitals have been completely depleted. He accused police and senior officials in Uttar Pradesh and Haryan of blocking tanks carrying oxygen and delaying supplies.
Ironworks, which produce oxygen, are stepping up production to try to meet demand. On Thursday night, a train, dubbed the “Oxygen Express,” began its first journey from the steel plant to Andhra Pradesh carrying seven tankers loaded with 15 tons of liquid medical oxygen each.
The virus is spreading at an unprecedented rate in India, and health experts blame loose measures, political omissions and a more contagious variant. On Friday morning, India reported another record daily number of cases of 332,348 in the previous 24 hours. It followed news Thursday India recorded the highest number of infections in a single day in any country since the beginning of the pandemic.
Nearly 2,250 new deaths were announced Friday morning.
The crisis has pushed India’s fragile healthcare system to the brink. In the western state of Maharashtra, among the hardest hit areas, thirteen patients with Covid died after a fire broke out at a hospital in a Mumbai suburb in the early hours of Friday morning. Earlier this week, 22 patients with Covid died at another hospital in the same condition when the leak was disrupted by the supply of their ventilators.
Television and social media footage from across the country showed chaotic scenes in front of overcrowded hospitals, with relatives advocating for the treatment of their loved ones, and patients lying across the sidewalk because there were no beds.
A member of the Legislative Assembly in Delhi sent an emotional appeal from his hospital bed on Thursday. Saurabh Bharadwaj of the Aam Aadmi party spoke breathlessly through his oxygen mask, calling for help from the government: “The hospital where I was admitted has only three hours of oxygen left. When I remove this mask, it seems to me that the non-swimmer has been pushed into the pool and is out of breath, ”Bharadwaj said.
“We should give our lives. If we can’t even give oxygen, our patients will die, ”Sunil Kumar Saggar, Shanti Mukand Hospital’s executive director, told local media, interrupting as he spoke.
A Covid center equipped with 500 oxygen beds should be opened in the capital to cope with the needs.
The government plans to make vaccines available to all adults over the age of 18 as of May 1, but several states are short of it, and the Serum Institute in India, which produces AstraZeneca vaccine, has warned it will not be able to meet its 100 million monthly target. dose by the end of May.