Delhi Hospital Chief breaks down, says 'only 2 hours of oxygen left'

Kolkata, India: In yet another grim reminder of India's coronavirus condition, the chief of a private hospital in New Delhi broke down on-camera, saying only two hours of oxygen supply is left in his hospital. 

Representing the crisis of the majority of Indian hospitals running out of vital life-saving gas amid an unprecedented influx of cases, Dr. Sunil Saggar, the CEO of Shanti Mukand Hospital, told ANI that his hospital had only two hours of oxygen supply left. 

India's underfunded healthcare industry is being crippled under the feet of a monstrous outburst of the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan earlier last year.

International media reports are filled with India in the center of the global pandemic reportage Thursday, as national caseload break records. 

Major cities in the nation are battling a chronic shortage of oxygen as hospitals struggle to admit critical patients. 

"We are hardly left with any oxygen. We have requested doctors to discharge patients, whoever can be discharged. It (oxygen) may last for two hours or something," Sunil Saggar, the CEO of Shanti Mukand Hospital, told ANI.


 

The doctor said over 100 patients in his hospital were on oxygen with 12 patients on a ventilator.

His voice trembled while speaking on camera as he said: "Whatever volume of the oxygen we were giving, we have tweaked it so that it can last more...It will be very unfortunate, deplorable condition...we as doctors are supposed to give life (sic)," he further said from behind the face mask, apparently trying to hold back tears.

Record-breaking

On Thursday, India set a global record with nearly 315,000 new Covid infections, as hospitals in New Delhi issued urgent warnings that patients could die if fresh oxygen supplies were not available.

On a per-capita basis, however, the number of deaths and cases in India is significantly lower than in many other nations.

Depressing scenes surfaced from Delhi, Mumbai, Gujrat, Karnataka, and other locations of India as people stumbled upon each other in hospital corridors, struggling to get admission. 

Hundreds of COVID-19 patients have died from lack of hospital admission or awaiting any forms of treatment.  

Cries and wails from the family members of the ailing reflect the unprecedented crisis unfolding in India, after momentarily recording a drop in cases and deaths earlier this year. 

The central government, on Wednesday, increased Delhi's oxygen quota from 378 metric tonnes to 480 metric tonnes on Wednesday. According to existing figures, the national capital needs 700 metric tonnes of oxygen per day.



Despite the fact that some of the city's top hospitals received fresh oxygen stock overnight, some hospitals alleged that they received no assistance, prompting them to file a complaint with the Delhi High Court.

Last night, the Dehli High Court chastised the Centre over the crisis, questioning why it was not waking up to reality.

You beg, borrow, steal, or do whatever it takes, but you must do it (provide oxygen). We can't see people die because they're dying, The Centre was told by the High Court bench.

A key question is whether a new variant with potentially worrying mutations -- B.1.617 -- is behind what is currently the world's fastest-growing outbreak, which added more than 300,000 fresh infections Thursday.

The B.1.617 variant has already appeared elsewhere, including in the United States, Australia, Israel, and Singapore. Concern about it has led some countries, including the UK, to slap travel restrictions on India.

COVER IMAGE COURTESY OF KANISHK DUTT VIA TWITTER

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