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At Delhi’s smaller hospitals, oxygen scramble continues

The hospital administration told families their hands were tied and oxygen was in short supply. The administration did not respond to calls from The Indian Express seeking a comment.

Written by Ashna Butani | New Delhi |
April 28, 2021 4:00:01 am
Vasant Kunj, Covid-19 India Second Wave, Delhi oxygen availability, Delhi oxygen scramble, Delhi coronavirus cases, Delhi covid-19 cases, Delhi news, indian expressKamal Kishore, 50, outside Sardar Patel Covid care centre in Chhatarpur. Kishore said he had arranged the oxygen cylinder himself and had been searching for a hospital bed in his brother-in-law’s auto. (Express Photo by Abhinav Saha)

On Tuesday morning, after a lot of trouble, Anubhav Dudha managed to get his 62-year-old uncle admitted to the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre in Vasant Kunj. With an oxygen level of 65%, he was put on high-flow oxygen. However, there was no assurance that there would be oxygen support for long.

Anubhav, who also had Covid-like symptoms, spoke briefly. “I got my uncle admitted to a makeshift emergency ward outside the hospital. We were told that once this cylinder is over, they would not be able to provide another one since they are short on oxygen.”

Another family said they were trying to get their patient shifted elsewhere ever since they were told to arrange medical oxygen themselves.

The hospital administration told families their hands were tied and oxygen was in short supply. The administration did not respond to calls from The Indian Express seeking a comment.

Across the city, smaller hospitals have been battling oxygen crisis on a daily basis. Even their SOS messages on social media only solve the problem temporarily.

Another such hospital is Cribs Hospital in Shaheen Bagh. At 4 pm on Tuesday, Mohammad Imteyaz, founder and chairman of Cribs Hospital, said the hospital has been trying to arrange oxygen from their plant in Badarpur since 9 am on Monday. Dejected, he said, “The current supply will last for two hours.”

There are 25 Covid-19 patients at the hospital, out of which he said at least 10 were critical. At 9 pm, Imteyaz said that small amounts of oxygen were arranged for four hours after making many calls.

A similar situation played out at Irene Hospital in Kalkaji on Tuesday. With 40 Covid patients admitted at the time, Mohit Gehlot, who has been appointed the oxygen in-charge, said, “Ideally, we need 180 cylinders every 24 hours because the patients are all on high-flow oxygen. We are already running 50 cylinders short.”

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