At least seven Covid patients have died in two hospitals of Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, the doctors have attributed the deaths to a severe shortage of oxygen. Three Covid patients died at a private hospital -- Anand hospital – in Meerut. Another four died at the KMC hospital.
As Covid cases spike in the country's most populous state, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has repeatedly asserted that there is no oxygen shortage in the state.
Sources, however, said several hospitals in Meerut – 90 km from Delhi -- have asked patients' families to arrange for oxygen.
Dr Subhash Yadav, the Medical Superintendent of Anand Hospital, said the oxygen shortage has been "continuous". "We need 400 cylinders every day, but we are getting only 90," he said, disclosing that the hospital has been forced to turn away critical patients who need high-pressure oxygen.
"Yesterday, our oxygen supply ran out, due to which three patients admitted in the hospital died," said Dr Yadav.
Dr Sunil Gupta, the chief of KMC Hospital said not only have they lost four patients yesterday, three patients died the day before. "Yesterday we had no oxygen from 12 noon till 8 in the night. If we had oxygen, we would have saved them," he said.
The shortage of oxygen, the doctor said, has been a "daily problem" and the trouble area, he said, is the management of oxygen.
Mohammed Kasim 28, whose mother is in hospital with Covid, had to get an oxygen cylinder from Haryana's Karnal 110 km away, at a cost of Rs 25,000.
"The hospital said, 'We do not have oxygen. Get your patient discharged or arrange for oxygen'," he said.
Manoj Kumar 50, got three oxygen cylinders from Haryana's Yamuna Nagar for Rs 1 lakh for his brother who is admitted at the KMC hospital.
NDTV reached out to to the District Magistrate for comments but he is yet to respond.