India COVID-19: patients die from oxygen shortage, hospital fire

Kolkata, India: In two separate incidents occurring at the Indian national capital New Delhi and the Western state of Maharashtra, 38 COVID-19 patients died from an acute shortage of oxygen supply and hospital fire. 

As Indian battles, a demonic second wave of the novel coronavirus that is taking more lives than the first wave, and infecting more people, associated issues like oxygen shortage, shortage of hospital beds, and overall chaos in the healthcare infrastructure is taking its toll on the vast nation. 

New Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, which has been at the forefront of the coronavirus war, has lost 25 of its sickest patients in the last 24-hours due to a lack of oxygen.

The Director-Medical issued a statement at 8 a.m. today, saying that oxygen will only last two hours. Following the dispatch of the SOS, an oxygen tanker arrived at the hospital in Delhi, but the lives could not be saved. 

 "Need oxygen to be airlifted urgently. Lives of another 60 sickest patients in peril," the statement read. The statement also said ventilators were not working properly, potentially jeopardizing the lives of many other critical patients. 

There are 510 coronavirus patients admitted there, according to reports and 142 patients need high flow oxygen support.

Later, visuals showed oxygen tankers arriving at the Sri Ganga Ram hospital, ANI reported.

Sir Ganga Ram Hospital was one of the few medical facilities that received oxygen late Tuesday night, following an intervention by the Delhi High Court.

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.

Chairman DS Rana announced that 14,000 cubic meters of oxygen arrived in two different deliveries.

At the moment, the total demand is 11,000 cubic meters. The supply could last until 9 a.m. tomorrow, he had revealed.

Maharashtra hospital fire kills 17 COVID-19 patients

Meanwhile, in another deadly incident, 13 patients at Maharashtra hospital died after a fire broke out at a hospital in Maharashtra's Virar.

The patients were being treated in the Vijay Vallabh Hospital's intensive care unit (ICU). Dr. Dilip Shah, who works at the hospital, stated that 21 patients, including those in critical condition, have been transferred to another hospital.

According to Vivekanand Kadam, chief of the District Disaster Control Cell, the fire was followed by an explosion in the intensive care unit's AC unit.

The fire began at 3.15 a.m. and was extinguished within an hour. Relatives of the deceased arrived at the hospital shortly after learning of the incident and requested that those responsible for the tragedy face harsh punishment.

According to the CM's office, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has ordered an investigation into the fire.

Relatives of the deceased rushed to the appalling scene. 

An eyewitness, Avinash Patil, said that his friend's mother-in-law was admitted to the hospital. He said, as he approached, he saw fire engines outside. The smoke had surrounded the intensive care unit on the second floor."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss after the incident. "The fire at a Covid-19 hospital in Virar is tragic. Condolences to those who lost their loved ones. May the injured recover soon," he said.

Union defense minister Rajnath Singh prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured. "Saddened by the loss of lives due to tragic fire at a Hospital in Palghar, Maharashtra. My condolences to the bereaved families. Praying for the speedy recovery of the injured," said Singh.

The Maharashtra hospital fire comes days after an oxygen taker began leaking the gas outside a medical facility, prompting fire engines to gather on the scene swiftly and sparking fears of a shortage. 

In March, at least ten patients were killed in a major fire that broke out at a Covid-19 hospital on the third floor of a mall in Mumbai's Bhandup neighborhood.

Maharashtra is amid an alarming surge in virus cases, and the state recorded 67,013 new infections on Thursday, taking its case tally to 40,94,840.

Share this story