Lucknow: Family members of COVID-19 patients wait to refill cylinders with medical oxygen at a plant, as coronavirus cases surge in Lucknow, Tuesday, April 20, 2021.
Lucknow: Family members of COVID-19 patients wait to refill cylinders with medical oxygen at a plant, as coronavirus cases surge in Lucknow, Tuesday, April 20, 2021.
(PTI Photo)

Lucknow: Over half a dozen Covid hospitals in the state capital Lucknow have put up "oxygen out of stock" boards making the coronavirus crisis further grim.

Against the demand of about 7,000 oxygen cylinders in Lucknow, only 4500 could be supplied in the last 24 hours in different government and private hospitals.

Moreover, hospitals facing acute oxygen shortage have advised relatives to shift their critical patients to other hospitals for saving their lives.

“What should we do now? Where to go? Who will save my father? If oxygen is not available in hospitals then from where should we arrange,” fumed Ankita, who was asked by a private Covid hospital to take her father to a government hospital.

Though the private hospitals are making arrangements on their own for shifting critical patients at other hospitals having oxygen, not many are lucky due to shortage of oxygen beds for Covid patients.

There are 52,376 active cases in Lucknow and out of that over 8,000 are on oxygen support due to their critical conditions. Those who are in home isolation and need oxygen are the worst sufferers.

“My mother’s oxygen level is down. I have bought a 13 kg cylinder for Rs 29,000 (it is priced at Rs 1575). Now oxygen mask kit is out of stock,” rued Polu, whose entire family is Covid positive and are under home isolation.

A senior health officer admitted acute shortage of oxygen in Lucknow due to heavy demand after a sudden spike in the number of coronavirus active cases in the last 20 days.

“Every day over 5800 people test positive. About 20 per cent are admitted in hospitals and need to be put on oxygen to save their lives. It has shot up oxygen demand against the production and supplies,” points out the officer.

Lucknow has two oxygen and bottling plants that have a capacity of producing 4500 cylinders and refilling 6600 per day. But since the demand has gone up manifold, the state government is failing to maintain the supplies.

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