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 ‘Lives at Risk, Major Tragedy May Occur': 2 Delhi Hospitals Ring Oxygen Alarm Bells

The hospitals have sent out desperate SOS calls to authorities to replenish their dwindling oxygen stocks. An official from the Madhukar Rainbow Children's hospital said that lives of 50 people, including 15 newborns, are "at risk".

Image for representational purpose. Credit: UNICEF

New Delhi: At least two hospitals in Delhi sent out desperate SOS calls to authorities on Sunday to replenish their dwindling oxygen stocks as smaller facilities continued to battle an acute shortage of the live-saving gas amid spiralling coronavirus cases.

Madhukar Rainbow Children's Hospital in Malviya Nagar sounded an alarm about their depleting stocks around afternoon, saying 50 people, including four newborns, were "at risk".

An official of the hospital said in the afternoon there are around 80 patients, including those suffering from Covid-19, at the hospital. It also has 15 newborns, he said.

"There are 50 people, including four newborns, on oxygen support. They are at risk," he said.

The hospital does not have a liquid oxygen storage tank and depends on oxygen cylinders from a private vendor. 

"It has become a daily fire-fight in the absence of a continuous supply. We require around 125 oxygen cylinders a day," the official said.

The hospital also took to Twitter seeking help from authorities.

AAP MLA Raghav Chadha tweeted in reply: “We have arranged five D-Type oxygen cylinders for Rainbow Children's Hospital, from our Rajghat Response Point. The Govt’s oxygen reserves are extremely limited due to reduced oxygen supply to Delhi, but we are doing everything possible to avert any untoward incident.”

Dr Deepali Gupta from Triton Hospital in Kalkaji said they have been struggling to arrange oxygen for their neonatal intensive care unit.

“We have been scrambling for oxygen for over a week. A major tragedy may occur if a continuous supply is not ensured soon,” she said.

AAP leader Chadha also said the government has issued 5 D-type cylinders to the hospital from Rajghat Response Point. 

“Hospital officials are on their way to collect it. Sincerely hope that oxygen supply chains of hospitals get restored quickly for this fire-fighting is unsustainable,” he tweeted.

On Saturday, 12 Covid-19 patients, including a senior doctor, had died at south Delhi's Batra Hospital after the facility ran out of medical oxygen for around 80 minutes in the afternoon.

The tragic incident occurred in less than two weeks of 20 coronavirus patients dying at Jaipur Golden Hospital and 25 at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital amid oxygen crises in the national capital.  

Several hospitals in Delhi continue to grapple with a shortage of oxygen, as coronavirus cases continue to spike every passing day. 

The Delhi government has been demanding 976 metric tonnes of oxygen from the Centre against the existing allotted 490 MT quota.

On Friday, the city administration received just 312 MT, an official said.

According to official data, Delhi had got 305 metric tonnes of oxygen on April 25, followed by 408 MT on April 26, 398 MT on April 27, 431MT on April 28 and 409 MT on April 29.

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