Clock ticks for out-of-breath patients

Delhi Disaster Management Authority appoints two senior bureaucrats as nodal officers to ensure smooth movement of tankers and facilitate oxygen supply to city hospitals, reports Asian Lite News

The unabated second wave of Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across the country. According the health ministry, a total of 3,32,730 Covid cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, according to health ministry data released on Friday.

The country also registered over 2,000 daily deaths for the third consecutive day with the highest spike in single-day deaths of 2,263 on Friday, since the Covid-19 pandemic early last year, taking the cumulative death toll in India to 1,86,920 so far.

Meanwhile, Delhi recorded its highest ever fatalities over the last 24 hours — 306 Covid patients died and more than 26,000 cases were logged. According to a Delhi government health bulletin released late on Thursday, the city’s positivity rate stood at 36.24 per cent, meaning every third person who underwent the test was infected.

Delhi has been logging over 25,000 cases for days now. The huge numbers have converted its hospitals to battle zones where for the last three days, the doctors have been fighting to save patients amid a massive shortage of beds and most crucially, oxygen.

Outside many hospitals, desperate relatives of patients could be seen waiting, many in tears, appealing for a bed and treatment for their loved ones.

Also read:24 Covid patients die after oxygen leak

Since morning, several private hospitals in Delhi said they ran out of oxygen, and two approached the High Court for relief. The Delhi government listed several hospitals which were completely out of supplies even as other hospitals flagged shortages to press and on social media.

Around 25 Covid-19 patients have died in the last 24 hours in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, the hospital authority said here on Friday.

Relative of a coronavirus victim mourns outside a mortuary of a COVID-19 hospital in New Delhi(IANS)

Sir Ganga Ram Hospital raised an alarm for immediate need of oxygen supply as over 140 critical patients admitted in the hospitals were on ventilators and on oxygen support.

With Delhi Government’s efforts, the hospitals received oxygen supply, however, the hospitals said it received only two MT of oxygen which will last merely for the next few hours.

“Ventilators and Bipap are not working effectively. Resorting to manual ventilation in ICUs and ED. Major Major crisis likely. life of another 60 sickest patients at risk. Need urgent intervention,” said Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, in a statement early morning on Friday.

Amid flood of complaints regarding oxygen shortage by over a dozen hospitals, including government-run hospitals, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has appointed two senior bureaucrats as nodal officers to ensure smooth movement of tankers and facilitate oxygen supply to the city hospitals.

Workers unload oxygen cylinders for COVID-19 patients(IANS)

The DDMA also directed the Delhi Police to provide a green corridor for all oxygen tankers from point of entry to the designated destination when they arrive.

The move came hours after Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia alleged that the police force in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana were blocking oxygen transport to the national capital and urged the Centre to ensure normal supply even if that meant taking the help of paramilitary forces.

Also read:Delhi gasps for oxygen

According to the DDMA order, senior IAS officer Udit Prakash will be responsible for ensuring smooth and seamless movement of tankers till borders of Delhi and sort out all issues pertaining to suppliers, states and the Central government.

It also stated that IAS officer Vijay Bidhuri will be responsible for controlling, coordinating and facilitating the supply of oxygen to health establishments.

Workers load medical oxygen cylinders for hospital use on Covid-19 coronavirus patients amid the rising cases(IANS)

Meanwhile, hospitals in Gurugram are running short of beds for Covid patients. As per the district administration’s Covid portal, there were no ICU beds or beds with ventilator support available, while only 22 oxygenated beds were available in the district.

Officials, however, have assured that they are making every effort to increase the number of beds in Gurugram. According to the administration’s Covid portal, a total of 22 beds with oxygen support were available at the ESI Hospital located in Sector-9, Gurugram.

Gurugram on Friday reported its highest ever single-day spike of 3,553 Covid cases, with the number of active cases crossing the 18,000-mark to 18,120, of which 17,068 are under home isolation, as per the health bulletin issued by the district health department.

Also read:India to press IAF into service for oxygen import