Ganga Ram hospital said their supplies will run for around eight hours (Representational)
Two of Delhi's top hospitals -- Max Hospital and Ganga Ram -- have reported that their oxygen supplies will last for just a few hours. The crunch comes as Delhi struggles to cope with an unprecedented daily surge that reached 32,000 last evening.
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Max hospital told NDTV that its supplies have been disrupted and it has only six to 12 hours' worth of oxygen left. The authorities at Sir Ganga Ram hospital said their supplies will run for around eight hours.
Max Hospital has assured that there is no need for panic. "We hope to get fresh oxygen supply. No patient being moved out of hospitals," Max hospital authorities have said. Government sources have said they are trying to resolve the issue in both hospitals.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal earlier tweeted, "Serious oxygen crisis persists in Delhi. I again urge centre to urgently provide oxygen to Delhi. Some hospitals are left with just a few hours of oxygen".
"In most hospitals in Delhi, oxygen is available for the next 8 to 12 hours only. We have been demanding for one week to increase the oxygen supply quota to Delhi, which the central government has to do. If oxygen does not reach the hospitals in sufficient quantity by tomorrow morning, there will be an outcry," tweeted Mr Kejriwal's Deputy Manish Sisodia, giving a break-up.
The oxygen crunch issue has reached the Delhi High Court, which pulled up the Centre today, questioning why it was waiting till April 22 to bar oxygen use for industrial use and divert it for Covid patients. "Economic interests can't override human lives. Else we are heading for a disaster," the court said.
During the hearing, a judge quoted NDTV, and pointed out that the Ganga Ram Hospital is running low on oxygen. "We have come to know that oxygen in Ganga Ram and Max is about to over in next 8 hours. The need for oxygen is now. Any delay will lead to loss of precious life," the court said.
The Centre has argued that private hospitals give excess oxygen to patients for "psychological purposes", leading to misuse. All states including Delhi have been advised to rationalize the use of oxygen and not administer oxygen to patients who do not clinically need it, the Centre said.
The Centre said only three per cent of the patients need beds in the Intensive Care Unit. Twenty-four litres of oxygen is required for ICU patients and 10 litres for non ICU beds. Based on this formula, Delhi needs 220 MT of oxygen, but has been given 378 MT oxygen, the Centre said.
The states were asked to provide projections for their oxygen requirement as on April 20, 25 and 30. Based on that, Delhi's requirement was forecast as 300 MT on April 20, 349 MT on April 25 and 445 MT on April 30, the Centre said. At a meeting on April 18, the requirement for Delhi was revised from 300 MT to 700 MT. This is 133 per cent, the Centre said, calling it an "inordinate rise".
Eight PSA Oxygen Generation Plants are being installed in Delhi by the support of PMCARES Funds. This will increase the capacity by 14.4 metric tonnes, the government added.