Several big and small hospitals in the national capital have had to suspend patient intake due to shortage in oxygen supply.

Sunil Saggar in a mask talking to ANITwitter/ ANI
Coronavirus Medical crisis Friday, April 23, 2021 - 11:33

With hospitals across India facing a severe shortage of medical oxygen amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, many hospitals have been forced to suspend patient intake. In a video that was circulating on social media on Thursday, Sunil Saggar, CEO of Shanti Mukand Hospital in Delhi, broke down as he spoke about the oxygen supply crisis in hospitals. Mr Saggar was moved to tears as he spoke about the hospital’s helplessness in this situation. “We are hospitals and doctors and we are supposed to give the patients, life… We’re hardly left with any oxygen. If at all something is there, it may be for two hours or something”, he told ANI.

Delhi has been facing a massive shortage of oxygen over the last week, with several big and small hospitals appealing to government officials for aid. On Wednesday, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had appealed to the Union government to increase Delhi’s oxygen supply quota to 700 metric tonnes from 380 metric tonnes, but on Thursday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that even this is not enough. Two hospitals in the national capital-- Balaji Medical and Research Centre, which runs Max Hospitals and Saroj Super Specialty Hospital—filed urgent appeals to the High Court regarding the shortage. In response, the High Court bench said that the responsibility of ensuring adequate oxygen supply rests with the Union government.

Watch his whole statement here:

On Thursday, Prime Minister Modi held a high-level meeting to assess the severe oxygen shortage faced by hospitals as well as the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country. According to a statement from his office, the Prime Minister spoke about the need to rapidly increase the production of oxygen and increasing the speed of distribution and using “innovative” ways to provide oxygen support to healthcare centres. The PM said that Union government officials need to work with states to ensure that transportation of oxygen happens in a smooth manner, and urged states to come down heavily on those found hoarding oxygen supplies.

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