Amid a lethal second wave of COVID-19 in India, several hospitals in Delhi are struggling with oxygen shortage as on Saturday the national capital’s Delhi Jaipur Golden Hospital officials said that 20 critical patients died due to oxygen scarcity. With a positivity rate of over 32%, the healthcare infrastructure in Delhi has been stretched to its limits. 

“The oxygen pressure has dipped as we are running out of stock,” Dr D K Baluja, the medical director of Jaipur Golden Hospital, told PTI.

As of 10.45 am, he said the hospital had only half an hour of oxygen supply left for over 200 patients. The hospital received an oxygen tanker at around 1 pm. 

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Officials of Batra Hospital in Tughlakabad Institutional Area also sent out an SOS on Saturday morning, saying its oxygen stock has been exhausted. Executive Director of the hospital, Sudhanshu Bankata, said the facility exhausted its oxygen stock around 9 am.

It received an emergency oxygen supply moments after the request. 

“Just now, we received an emergency supply from the Delhi government. It will last another one-and-a-half hours. Our supplier has not been responding to calls,” he said.

There are around 350 patients admitted to the hospital, of which 265 are COVID-19 positive and 30 are in the ICU.

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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 may be two hours. The situation is scary,” an official said.

On Friday morning, 25 COVID patients in the hospital died in the past 24 hours and officials said the lives of many more was at stake due to scarcity of oxygen in hospitals across the national capital and its suburbs.

The medical director of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, Suresh Kumar said the facility’s oxygen stock can last up to eight hours. It is likely to be a few days before the crisis is resolved, he said.

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%, according to the latest health bulletin.

The city has reported around 2,100 deaths due to the deadly virus in 11 days.