A truck carries oxygen cylinders amidst a dust storm in Bikaner, Friday, April 23, 2021.
A truck carries oxygen cylinders amidst a dust storm in Bikaner, Friday, April 23, 2021.
(PTI Photo)

Lucknow: Even as the state government threatens to invoke the NSA against hospitals reporting oxygen shortage, nine patients allegedly died in a private COVID-19 hospital in Meerut district late Monday night due to lack of oxygen.

The district administration, however, denied oxygen shortage in hospitals in Meerut. Belying claims of the district administration, the KMC Hospital reported nine deaths due to short supply of oxygen cylinders in the last 24 hours.

The Hospital Chairman Dr Sunil Gupta said that they were not getting adequate supplies against the ever increasing demand of oxygen. “We are trying our best but oxygen supply is inadequate against the number of critical patients on oxygen,” he told media persons on death of 9 patients.

In the last 24 hours, about 30 patients died in different hospitals in Meerut district. Many private covid hospitals in the district have refused to admit new patients due to oxygen short supply.

“Instead of maintaining oxygen supplies as per our requirement, we are advised by the health department to shift patients to other hospitals,” rued Dr Sandeep Garg of a private covid hospital.

Conditions of those under home isolation are worse as they are unable to procure oxygen cylinders even in black market.

Despite tall claims of adequate oxygen stock, hospitals in other districts of the state are facing similar situations due to a spike in the number of active cases. A state health official claimed that adequate oxygen is in stock but due to shortage of empty cylinders supplies are delayed.

“The main reason is that a large number of people have bought oxygen cylinders for their covid positive patients under home isolation by paying hefty amounts creating an acute shortage of empty cylinders to maintain supplies,” he pointed out.

Orders have been placed for 3,000 empty cylinders and 5,000 Jumbo cylinders. Supplies will be enhanced and maintained against increased demand only on the availability of empty cylinders for refill, he added.

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