An oxygen tanker has arrived at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. (Photo: Delhi Police)
An oxygen tanker has arrived at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. (Photo: Delhi Police)

25 patients dead at Delhi’s Ganga Ram Hospital in 24 hours

Police said no oxygen contingency arose in the hospital and that there is no dearth of it. The hospital has oxygen stock that will last for three hours, they added
By Anonna Dutt & Karn Pratap Singh
UPDATED ON APR 23, 2021 03:21 PM IST

Twenty-five patients died over 24 hours at New Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, the hospital’s medical director said in a statement on Friday morning, hours before it was clarified that none of the deaths was due to oxygen shortage.

“They were natural deaths; the patients were very serious,” said DS Rana, the hospital’s board of management chairman, in a statement. “But the oxygen situation is such that we did have to switch to manual ventilation in the ICU [intensive care unit] day before when our oxygen supply was depleting because the pressure was less. There is an acute shortage of oxygen across the city but for now, the crisis has been averted.”

Hospitals in the National Capital have issued distress messages about dwindling oxygen supply. The crisis prompted the Centre to invoke the Disaster Management Act to ensure its unrestricted supply after Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday blamed police forces of the two neighbouring states for preventing inter-state movement of oxygen tankers.

Earlier on Friday morning, the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said in an SOS: “Oxygen will last another 2 hrs. Ventilators and Bipap [non-invasive ventilation] not working effectively. Resorting to manual ventilation in ICUs [intensive care units]... Major crisis likely. [The] lives of another 60 sickest patients in peril. Stop catastrophe. Need Oxygen to be airlifted urgently. Governments please help. We have warned.”

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Police said no oxygen contingency arose in the hospital and that there was no dearth of it. The hospital had oxygen stock that would have lasted for three hours, they added. It received 2,000 cubic metre supply in a tanker that arrived there at 9:20 am on Friday. The hospital requires between 9,500 to 11,000 cubic metres daily, the police said.

An oxygen tanker was earlier stuck in Rohini as the driver did not know the route and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital staff later escorted it.

Deputy police commissioner (central) Jasmeet Singh said the hospital did not make any distress call seeking a green corridor.

Police said the hospital informed them they had at least three-hour stock and also one container was on its way.

To be sure, a green corridor is not provided to every vehicle. Police provide it only after receiving distress calls. Oxygen vehicles are not stopped in any case.

Police stationed a liaison officer at the hospital. One officer from the district administration will also remain in touch for any such emergency situation, police said.

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