Lucknow: Over half a dozen Covid hospitals in Lucknow have put up oxygen ‘out-of-stock’ boards, a grim reminder of the latest crisis to grip the state. Worse, hospitals facing acute oxygen shortage have advised relatives to shift their critical patients.
Against a demand of about 7,000 oxygen cylinders in Lucknow, only 4500 could be supplied in the last 24 hours.
“What should we do now? Where do we go? Who will save my father? If oxygen is not available in hospitals then from where we are we expected to arrange the supply,’’ fumed Ankita, who was asked by a private Covid facility to take her father to a government hospital.
Though select private hospitals are making their own arrangements for shifting critical patients to other hospitals, not many are lucky due to shortage of oxygen beds. There are 52,376 active cases in Lucknow and out of these 8,000 are on oxygen support. Those who are in home isolation and need oxygen are the worst hit.
“My mother’s oxygen level is low. I have bought a 13-kg cylinder for Rs 29,000 (it is priced at Rs 1575). To add to our woes, now the oxygen mask kit is out of stock,” lamented Polu, whose entire family is Covid positive and in quarantine at home.
A senior health officer admitted there was an acute shortage due to heavy demand following a sudden spike in the active cases in the last 20 days.
“Every day over 5,800 people test positive. About 20 percent are admitted in hospitals and need to be put on oxygen,’’ the officer pointed out.
Lucknow has two oxygen and bottling plants which have a capacity to churn out 4500 cylinders per day and refill an additional 6600.