Six more Delhi hospitals — having around 2,000 patients between them — have flagged a critical shortage of oxygen, saying tankers were blocked at Haryana border. Delhi has requested states for cooperation on oxygen supply.
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St Stephen’s Hospital, Holy Family Hospital and Sir Irene Hospital said their supplies will last a few hours. Max Hospitals said two of their hospitals — at Shalimar Bagh and Patparganj — have supplies of two and three hours. The two hospitals between them have over 500 Covid patients.
Haryana has accused Delhi of “looting” an oxygen tanker that was on way to Faridabad and ordered police protection for its tankers. State health minister Anil Vij said, “We are being forced to give our oxygen to Delhi. First, we’ll complete our needs, then give to others”.
Asking states for cooperation, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said oxygen quota of every state is fixed by the Centre and no state can block oxygen from another’s share.
Hospitals cannot go chasing oxygen tankers, their job is to focus on patients, Mr Sisodia added, pointing out that Delhi had to seek Centre’s intervention earlier regarding supply from another state.
Father George, the Director of Delhi’s Holy Family Hospital, told NDTV they have supplies till evening and around 400 patients are on oxygen support. Their Faridabad-based supplier has refused to bring any more oxygen, citing “orders from above”, he said. Mr Sisodia later said the matter has been resolved and the tanker is on way.
A doctor at St Stephen’s hospital said they have 500 patients and only two hours of oxygen left. The oxygen, he said, is being held up at the Haryana border.
Indraprastha Apollo hospital also complained about disrupted oxygen supply and said its stocks can last only for 10 to 12 hours. The hospital has more than 350 Covid patients who are dependent on oxygen.
Delhi, struggling to manage an unprecedented surge of Covid, has been flagging a serious shortage of oxygen. Yesterday, Mr Sisodia had listed a number of private and government-run hospitals that are running low.
The Arvind Kejriwal government told the Delhi High Court that oxygen supplier INOX was refusing to send supplies from its plants in Uttar Pradesh, saying it might create a law and order situation.
Yesterday, three key hospitals in Delhi were down to just hours’ supply of oxygen. The GTB hospital had just four hours’ supply, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain tweeted hours after Max hospital and Ganga Ram hospital flagged their shortage. They received supplies hours later.