The COVID-19 crisis in India is getting worse with state administrations trying to hoard oxygen
- Hospitals are struggling to keep their patients alive in the midst of a massive
- While the crisis only worsens, there are petty fights between states to keep
oxygen supplywithin their boundaries.
- There are rising complaints of states not letting
oxygen tankerspass through, in an attempt to hoard and keep the oxygen supply within the state.
AdvertisementToday, India reported a staggering 3.15 lakh new COVID-19 cases, the highest single day rise reported globally since the pandemic began. Doctors and healthcare workers are crumbling under the pressure of incoming patients, while hospitals are struggling to keep their patients alive in the midst of a massive oxygen shortage.
While the crisis has worsened by the minute, there are petty fights between states trying to hoard precious oxygen. There are rising complaints of states not letting oxygen tankers pass through, in an attempt to hoard and keep the oxygen supply within the state.
Over the last few days, top hospitals in India’s national capital have been taking to social media to send out signals for help – ‘just a few hours of oxygen left for hundreds of patients’ read most tweets, posts.
At 4.46 pm,
This is an #SOS call from Fortis to allow oxygen tanker from Bhiwadi to reach our hospital #ASAP. (2/2)— Fortis Healthcare (@fortis_hospital) 1619090193000
In another case, Dr. Sangita Reddy, the Joint Managing Director of
As I tweet, an oxygen tanker is outside the gate of Air Liquide Panipat plant at IOCL and he is not being allowed i… https://t.co/BCiwRrOaQA— Dr. Sangita Reddy (@drsangitareddy) 1619074498000
An hour later, she updated that the driver had been allowed to move but appealed for a ‘green corridor’ and ambulance status for oxygen cylinders.
Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia has written to the health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. “Police and senior officials of administration in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana are stalling the tankers carrying oxygen, delaying the tankers to reach Delhi hospitals on time," he wrote.
Sisodia has claimed that the national capital didn’t receive even 50% of the old quota of 378MT allocated.
In a last effort to get clearance, hospitals are moving the Delhi High Court to get the needed supply of oxygen. Meanwhile the Supreme Court of India has now passed an order to transfer all COVID-19 related matters to the top court only – a move which has been criticised by many. Senior advocate and former Attorney General of India Mukul Rohtagi said that the move would make High Courts redundant, reported Live Law.
AdvertisementTake a moment to note, this is the struggle for oxygen in the national capital of India.
In Maharashtra, the worst-hit state in the country, almost 10% of patients are in critical need of oxygen. The state has already hit its production capacity of 1,250 tonnes, and is now dependent on states like Gujarat, Chhattisgarh for oxygen supply.
For hospitals in smaller cities, rural areas, the situation worsens every minute.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high level meeting regarding the supply of oxygen in the country where he ‘stressed that the states should come down heavily on hoarding’.
“It was noted that in the last few days, availability of Liquid Medical Oxygen has been increased by about 3,300 MT/ day with contributions from private and public steel plants, industries, oxygen manufacturers as well as through prohibition of supply of oxygen for non-essential industries. PM directed the officials to ensure that oxygen supply to various states happens in a smooth, unhindered manner. He spoke about the need to fix responsibility with the local administration in cases of obstruction.,” read the official statement from the press information bureau.
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COVID-19: India records 3,14,835 fresh cases and 2,104 fatalities in last 24 hours, highest single day spike in any country
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