This Article is From Apr 24, 2021

Delhi Hospitals' Oxygen SOS; Top Official Breaks Down, Says "Overwhelmed"

On Friday, the national capital logged 348 deaths linked to Covid, highest in a day so far. The city - battling with fourth Covid wave - also reported 24,331 new coronavirus cases.

Delhi has been facing shortage of medical oxygen.


  • Moolchand hospital said they have less than 2 hours of oxygen supply
  • The hospital has stopped new admissions for now: Sources
  • Delhi has a positivity rate is 32 per cent
New Delhi:

An unprecedented surge in Covid cases has left several hospitals in Delhi desperate for oxygen. This morning, Moolchand hospital chain sent out an SOS over oxygen shortage as it appealed for urgent help from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lt Governor Anil Baijal. More than 130 Covid patients are on life support, it stressed.

Shortly after, several other hospitals, including Batra hospital in south Delhi and Jaipur Golden Hospital in northwest Delhi, also red-flagged oxygen shortage. Twenty-five people died last night at the Jaipur Golden Hospital amid shortage of medical oxygen, a top official said.

In a tweet posted this morning, Moolchand Healthcare said: "Urgent sos help. We have less than 2 hours of oxygen supply @Moolchand_Hos. We are desperate have tried all the nodal officer numbers but unable to connect. Have over 135 COVID pts with many on life support #. @ArvindKejriwal @CMODelh i@LtGovDelhi @satinderjain26 @PMOIndia (sic). The hospital later said it has received oxygen supply.

Madhu Handa, Medical Director, Moolchand Hospital, broke down as she gave details of the situation while speaking to NDTV. "We are down to around 30 minutes (of oxygen supply) at the moment but yes, cognizance has been taken and nodal officers have responded. But I think there are other hospitals facing similar challenge. So they now have to prioritise."

"But it is really bad. I have been coordinating since 4 in the morning for this. We have retained all our night staff, called in additional people just so we ensure that we save as many lives as possible. We hope the supply comes in time, but we are keeping our fingers crossed," she added.

Elaborating on the struggles being faced by hospitals, she underlined: "This is a never-ending thing... it happens every day. Today is one of the worse days and I am really sorry. We just have to keep going and it is overwhelming, and it is very depressing. I am sorry, I can't go on because I have to go back to coordinating with my team, but I just want to highlight, it is a sad state of affairs."

Sounding alarm, Batra Hospital this morning said it has run out of medical oxygen. "Our oxygen supply is over. There is no oxygen in the tank. We are only able to supply oxygen to the patients in ICU. The Delhi authorities have been helpful. But they are not able to supply us oxygen": Dr Bankata, Executive Director, Batra Hospital, told NDTV.

The hospital, however, also later received the supply. "Delhi Government has provided us with an oxygen tanker. We have another one to one and a half hours of oxygen for all our patients. There are 260 patients in the hospital," a doctor was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. 

As India faces one of its toughest health challenges in recent years, shortage of medical oxygen, hospital beds and essential drugs have been some of the most pressing issues over the last few weeks. Social media websites are flooded with SOS messages.

Yesterday, Delhi's Max hospital chain sent out a similar SOS and said it was left with less than an hour's oxygen supply.

"SOS - Less than an hour's Oxygen supplies at Max Smart Hospital & Max Hospital Saket. Awaiting promised fresh supplies from INOX since 1 am. @drharshvardhan @msisodia @PMOIndia @ArvindKejriwal @PiyushGoyal @SatyendarJain over 700 patients admitted, need immediate assistance," it posted yesterday afternoon.

An hour later, an update was shared: "Update: We have received emergency supplies at Max Saket and Max Smart which will last another 2 hours. We are still awaiting more supplies."

Today, a similar SOS was sent out for Max Hospital, Gurgaon. 

On Friday, the national capital logged 348 deaths linked to Covid, highest in a day so far. The city - battling with fourth Covid wave - also reported 24,331 new coronavirus cases.