New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In a tragic incident, at least 20 critically ill COVID-19 patients died at Delhi's Jaipur Golden Hospital due to alleged oxygen shortage overnight as the hospital's stock of the life-saving gas ran dry, the hospital administration said on Saturday morning. 

“We lost 20 patients almost all of whom were in critical care unit and on a high flow of oxygen. Our liquid medical oxygen was over by about 10 pm and then we switched over to the oxygen cylinders attached to the main gas pipeline. There was a drop in pressure and the patients could not survive,” said Dr Deep Baluja, medical director of the hospital.

Dr Baluja also informed that the hospital is running dry of oxygen stock and only half an hour of oxygen was left at 10:45 am. Around 200 patients are admitted to the hospital and 80 per cent of them are on oxygen support, while around 35 patients are in the ICU. Dr Baluja said that the hospital received the last refill of oxygen around midnight, after hours of delay.

"Nobody has promised anything. Everybody is saying we will do our best," the medical director said, adding "we had been allotted 3.5 metric tons of oxygen from the government. The supply was to reach us by 5 in the evening, but it reached around midnight. By then, 20 patients had died."

Apart from Jaipur Golden Hospital, Moolchand Hospital, SGRH, Batra Hospital, on Saturday, sent SOS messages reporting a shortage of oxygen and appealed to the authority to arrange it at the earliest. In the morning, Batra Hospital's Medical Director Dr SCL Gupta said that the hospital is left with oxygen for one hour for 350 patients. Later, 500 litres of oxygen was supplied to the hospital.

"We have received only 500 litres of oxygen after pleading for nearly 12 hours, which is also less than our daily requirement of 8,000 litres. We have 350 patients and it will get difficult treating them in absence of inadequate supply," Gupta said as quoted by news agency IANS. 

Meanwhile, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, in the heart of the national capital, which requires a minimum of 11,000 cubic metres of oxygen daily was left with 200 cubic metres when a tanker with 1.5 tonnes of oxygen arrived, officials said. "We were running oxygen at half the normal pressure. This supply of 1.5 tonnes of oxygen will maybe two hours. The situation is scary," an official said as quoted by PTI.

Delhi logged 24,331 fresh COVID-19 cases and a record single-day jump of 348 deaths on Friday while the positivity rate stood at 32.43 per cent, according to the latest health bulletin. The city has reported around 2,100 deaths due to the deadly virus in 11 days.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan