Twenty-five “sickest patients” have died in the last 24 hours at Sir Ganga Ram hospital in Delhi, a statement from the hospital said this morning, revealing a worsening Covid-19 crisis in the capital’s hospitals. In an SOS at around 8 am, the hospital also said it had oxygen for only two more hours and that 60 more patients were at risk after the notice issued two hours later, oxygen tankers arrived at the hospital.
“25 sickest patients have died in last 24 hours Oxygen is Left for Only two hours , Ventilators and BiPAP are not working efficiently. Last Resort to manual ventilation in ICUs and Emergency. Lives of another 60 sickest patients are at risk, need urgent intervention,” Ganga Ram’s Director, Medical, said in a statement in the morning.
The hospital also said it needed oxygen to be refilled urgently, but its top officers contradicted each other on whether the deaths, all of critical Covid-19 patients, were because of oxygen shortage.
“Low oxygen concentration likely contributed to deaths of critical patients. Critical patients need high pressure, stable oxygen supply,” Satendra Katoch, Medical Director, said.
But the hospital’s chairman said while there had indeed been a large number of deaths in 24 hours for the first time, they could not be linked to oxygen shortage.
Ganga Ram, one of Delhi’s top private hospitals, is treating more than 500 Covid-19 affected patients, according to reports. Of them, 142 are on high-flow oxygen support, the hospital says.
Several hospitals have, over the past three days, raised that there is shortage of oxygen supply, beds and medicines amid rising Covid-19 cases, and many have approached the Delhi High Court for help.
The court has asked the Centre to strictly follow its order to provide medical oxygen to Delhi and ensure safe passage to oxygen without obstructions. “Beg, borrow or steal,” said the judges, warning the centre that “all hell would break loose” if hospitals ran out of oxygen.
Last evening, Delhi reported 26,169 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours and 306 deaths, the highest in a day.
In a letter to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said six private hospitals had exhausted their oxygen supply by Thursday evening. These were Rathi Hospital, Santom Hospital, Saroj Super Specialty Hospital, Shanti Mukund, Tirath Ram Shah Hospital and UK Nursing Home. Mr Sisodia alleged in the letter that neighbouring Uttar Pradesh and Haryana were blocking oxygen supplies to Delhi.
At 8 pm on Thursday, Ganga Ram Hospital also told the government that it had only five hours of oxygen left.