Amid oxygen shortage, some Delhi hospitals say situation better, reopen admissions
New Delhi, Apr 27: Some hospitals in the city on Tuesday said they are in a comparatively better situation in terms of oxygen supply, while several others sent out SOS messages alleging that they have been denied oxygen.
In South Delhi''s Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, family members of a woman, who allegedly died due to COVID-19 waiting for a bed on Tuesday, attacked its staff, resulting in minor injuries to four employees, officials said.
Gandhi Hospital in west Delhi''s Uttam Nagar sent out an SOS message on Twitter, saying that their trucks are waiting at multiple O2 plants since last night and they have been "denied oxygen".
Panchsheel Hospital in northeast Delhi alleged that their vendor refused to supply oxygen but when they raised the matter with the district administration, they were issued a show cause notice.
Amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the national capital, medical facilities across the city and its suburbs put out desperate pleas for help on social media and other platforms last week, flagging their dwindling stock of oxygen.
Dr D K Baluja, medical director of Jaipur Golden Hospital, said the hospital has enough supply to last the day.
"We are in a very comfortable situation today. The daily requirement of oxygen is 3.6 metric tonnes and we have about six tonnes available which will last for the entire day. It is quite a comfortable situation."
The hospital also thanked the Delhi government and the Indian Railways for supplying oxygen to it.
"We thank @JSPLCorporate @Indianrailway18 for the O2 supplied overnight. We also thank the Delhi government @CMODelhi for the emergency O2 top-up through INOX that we received last night. Together we will overcome this crisis," it said in a tweet.
Last week, 20 patients died at the Jaipur Golden Hospital as it ran out of life-saving oxygen.
Sudhanshu Bankata, executive director of Batra Hospital, said they have reopened admissions.
"Thankfully, at present, there''s no crisis relating to oxygen supply. Our stock can last up to six to seven hours. The hospital''s daily requirement is eight metric tonnes and it has 270 patients admitted currently," he said.
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, which repeatedly sent out SOS last week over oxygen shortage as lives of hundreds of patients at the facility hung by a thread, received two tonnes of liquid medical oxygen this morning, according to an official.
The hospital official asserted that they are in a better situation as compared to "the last few days".
Around 8 pm, the hospital said it has an available total stock of 3,000 cubic meter of liquid oxygen, which will last only for four hours.
Twenty-five COVID-19 patients at the high-profile Sir Ganga Ram Hospital had died last week. Sources said "low pressure oxygen" could be the likely cause of the deaths.
Officials at Fortis Healthcare said the situation is stable now and admissions are on.
However, an official of a private hospital said the crisis is still there.
After days of running around, healthcare facilities now know who to contact for a refill and from where help will arrive, the official said requesting anonymity.
Officials from Aakash Healthcare said that early Tuesday morning, they were left with a few hours of oxygen.
"SOS help was on its way. However, the need was immediate, due to which we had to reach out to the medical fraternity for immediate help. We reached out first to Mr Abhay Soi, promoter, chairman, and Managing Director, Max Healthcare, at 8:30 AM, and in one breath he committed help by sending 10 D-type oxygen cylinders to us.
"His team immediately swung into action and we received those cylinders in a whirlwind speed. The government help also followed soon," a spokesperson from the facility said.
Gandhi Hospital sent out an SOS message on Twitter around 4.06 pm, stating that its oxygen supplies were dwindling.
"Gandhi Hospital SOS! Trucks waiting at multiple O2 plants since last night denied oxygen. Official order to maintain 80 per cent beds for COVID patients but no oxygen available. All doors are shut, feeling helpless!" Alisha Gandhi from the hospital tweeted.
She said that the hospital has 95 patients out of which over 60 are COVID-19 patients and 36 are critically ill in ICU with many others on oxygen and BIpap machines. Around 6.53 pm, she said that after scrambling, they had received seven cylinders.
Panchsheel Hospital in northeast Delhi was issued a notice by the district administration for not keeping "adequate oxygen and putting safety of patient to peril" and were threatened with action under the Disaster Management Act.
V K Goyal from the hospital said their vendor in Ghaziabad refused to supply them oxygen stating that were not even able to meet the demands in Ghaziabad. He said that he informed the nodal officers of the district about the crisis and received a notice at 3 pm.
"I informed them again about the crisis and later got a mail saying manage as per your convenience. I have told patients to find alternative options since we are in a crisis situation," he said.
The first Oxygen Express train carrying around 70 tonnes of medical oxygen reached Delhi early this morning, officials said.
This oxygen will now be disbursed by the Delhi government to various hospitals, they said.
Meanwhile, the attack on Apollo Hospital staff in South Delhi by family members of a woman, who allegedly died due to COVID-19 waiting for a bed, was the first such incident in the city this year, according to police.