Even as a large part of India remains focused on the State Assembly elections, others continue to fight against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last few weeks, Delhi has emerged as the worst affected city in India, reporting an continued scarcity of medical supplies, hospital beds and emergency drugs. Hospitals in the national capital now appear to be sending out distress calls on a daily basis over their dwinding oxygen supplies. In several cases, critical patients have even passed away as the healthcare centres ran out.
Messages on Sunday came from hospitals where the lives of children including newborns were at risk. Madhukar Rainbow Children's Hospital in Malviya Nagar on Sunday sounded an alarm about their depleting stocks around noon, with an official saying that there were 50 people, including four newborns, on oxygen support. Dr Deepali Gupta from Triton Hospital in Kalkaji said they have been struggling to arrange oxygen for their neonatal intensive care unit.
Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research also took to social media seeking help from authorities, adding that liquid oxygen supply was needed by 5 pm. It could not be ascertained if the facility received a refill.
On Sunday afternoon, Aakash Healthcare took to Twitter with an urgent "cry for help" contending that their oxygen supply would run out within an hour or so. The lives of around 250 people, they said, were at stake. "Crying out to Govt authorities to shift out our patients ASAP so that they can be saved," the handle added. It is not clear whether the hospital received supplies as there has been no follow-up post.
Going by posts shared on Twitter several other users, similar situations prevail in other Delhi hospitals. Well known surgeon Dr. Arvinder Singh Soin took to Twitter with an "SOS X 5" contending that at least five Delhi hospitals that he know of would run out of oxygen by midnight. "From what I'm told, the authorities are well aware which ones. Avert further unbearable tragedy," he urged tagging the the Union Health Minister as well as Delhi's Chief Minister and Lieutenant Governor.
BJP leader Kapil Mishra took to Twitter on Sunday evening stating that oxygen supply had been depleted at the MD City Hospital in Delhi's Model Town. A similar message was posted by Suhel Seth, who said that VIMHANS in Delhi had only an hour and a half's worth of oxygen supply left. It was not immediately clear whether help had reached these hospitals.