A Covid-19 patient on oxygen support waits in car outside the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital in New Delhi, India, on Monday, April 26, 2021. (Photo by Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)
A Covid-19 patient on oxygen support waits in car outside the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital in New Delhi, India, on Monday, April 26, 2021. (Photo by Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)

Some hospitals say O2 supply improved, others say not quite

Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, which raised four SOS calls for oxygen on Saturday, said the situation improved on Monday.
By Anonna Dutt, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON APR 27, 2021 06:12 AM IST

After five days of constant alarm and severe oxygen shortages, some hospitals across the city treating Covid-19 patients said channels for the distribution of medical oxygen seemed to have been streamlined, with medical facilities on Monday reporting that supplies reached them on time.

“The regularity of supply has improved over the last two days. Earlier we were raising at least two distress calls a day. Now, we had to make only one in the last 48 hours,” said a doctor from Indraprastha Apollo hospital.

Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, which raised four SOS calls for oxygen on Saturday, said the situation improved on Monday.

Hospital chairman Dr DS Rana said, “It appears the supply chains have been streamlined. It was better today and we hope that from tomorrow [Tuesday], systems will improve further.”

However, some hospitals said the situation continued to be bad, even though the calls for help were not made publicly.

Jaipur Golden hospital, where 20 people died due to oxygen shortage on Friday, tweeted again at noon on Monday: “We are trying to get in touch with INOX 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.”

“The hospitals are still in distress. I have seen calls for help from many hospitals on group messages. Yesterday night, a small nursing home nearby rushed to borrow cylinders from us because their supply did not arrive on time. Another bigger hospital had to trade oxygen with us. We gave them some oxygen, and they later gave us some of theirs when their tanker came,” said Dr PK Bharadwaj, chief executive director of Saroj hospital and secretary of the Delhi Voluntary Hospital’s Forum – a group of major private hospitals in the Capital.

He, however, added, “The situation is likely to improve from tomorrow [Tuesday]; the Delhi government now has control over the oxygen supply after the court hearings and the deputy chief minister himself is handling the supply of the allocated quota to the hospitals.”

Deputy CM Manish Sisodia on Monday evening held a meeting with senior government officials, representatives of private hospitals and oxygen suppliers.

The 490MT quota of oxygen allocated to the Capital by the Centre has been divided proportionately among all 150 hospitals in the city treating Covid-19 patients. At their current capacity, the Covid-19 hospitals alone need at least 454MT of oxygen, according to a Delhi government order issued on Monday.

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