On the day India recorded another high in the daily tally of COVID-19 cases, many hospitals across the country sent out calls of desperation seeking immediate oxygen supplies. Sir Ganga Ram, Fortis Healthcare, and Max Healthcare in Delhi and NCR regions are among the hospitals that in the last 24 hours sent out SOS for oxygen shortage.

On Friday morning, Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said that 25 “sickest patients” had died in the last 24 hours. The hospital around 9 am on Friday said that it has only two hours of oxygen left for patients. The hospital said that ventilators and Bipap machines are not working effectively. (Bipap machines are used to facilitate breathing using non-invasive ventilation (NIV) therapy). 

The Director of Medical of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said that the lives of another 60 sickest patients are at stake right now, and added that there will likely be a major crisis in the hospital.  The hospital said it is restoring manual ventilation in ICUs and emergency departments. 

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Nearly an hour after the SOS, the hospital received oxygen supplies. 

Dr Sumit Ray of Holy Famly Hospital at around 11.30 am on Friday said that they have medical oxygen for an hour and a backup oxygen supply that will only last for two hours, reported ANI. 

On Thursday evening, Fortis Hospital in Haryana had sent an SOS on Twitter, saying that it has only 45 minutes of oxygen left and asked, tagging Union Ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Piyush Goyal, CM Manohar Lal Khattar, and Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, to “act immediately” and help save patients’ lives. 

Fortis sent out this SOS call on Twitter asking officials to allow an oxygen tanker from Bhiwandi to reach the hospital. 

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Nearly five hours after the request, in which Fortis said they have only 45 minutes of oxygen left, the hospital received an oxygen tanker. 

Max healthcare on Friday morning also sent out an SOS call and said Max Smart Hospital and Max Hospital in Saket have less than an hour’s oxygen supply left. It added that they have been awaiting ‘promised fresh supplies’ from INOX since 1 am. It added that they have over 700 patients admitted to the hospital and need immediate assistance.

Nearly two hours later, the hospital said they have received oxygen supplies which will only last for another two hours. After that, the healthcare at one point even sent out a tweet, which has now been deleted, saying that they will not admit any new patients in their Delhi NCR hospitals.

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A government doctor told PTI that in Delhi, hospitals are wary of admitting more patients amid a serious oxygen shortage in the capital.

According to data by the Delhi government, every day in the past week, at least 2,560 calls have been made for ambulances by COVID patients. 

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, writing to Union Health Minister on Thursday evening said that nearly six hospitals in the national capital have run out of oxygen entirely and some had just a few hours of supply left.