The oxygen crisis in the Indian capital is escalating by the day. At least 25 Covid patients on life support died at a leading Delhi hospital late on Friday night due to a shortage of the life-saving gas.
Jaipur Golden Hospital, a dedicated Covid medical facility in Delhi, said on Saturday morning that the deaths occurred around midnight on Friday due to "low-supply oxygen" to critical patients on ventilator.
"We had been allotted 3.5 metric tonnes of oxygen from the government. The supply was to reach us by 5 in the evening, but it reached around midnight. By then, 20 patients had died," Dr DK Baluja, the hospital's Medical Director told the media.
Later in the day, the hospital authorities revised the death toll to 25 in a plea to the High Court in Delhi, seeking its immediate intervention in ending the oxygen crisis in thr national capital.
"There is big human tragedy coming in next few minutes in our hospital. We have already lost 25 lives. We are gasping for oxygen. We have our Doctors before you. Please save lives. Please," the plea said.
According to Dr Baluja, over 200 Covid patients admitted at the hospital "continue to remain critical and in dire need of oxygen".
Facing an acute shortage of oxygen, another Covid medical facility in Delhi -- Moolchand hospital -- has also sent out an SOS message to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the national capital's Lt Governor Anil Baijal.
"Urgent sos help. We have less than 2 hours of oxygen supply @Moolchand_Hos. We are desperate have tried all the nodal officer numbers but unable to connect. Have over 135 COVID pts with many on life support," Moolchand tweeted this morning.
More than 130 Covid patients are on life support at the hospital, the authorities said.
In fact, several hospitals in India, particularly Delhi, are currently facing an acute shortage of oxygen as the country witnesses a ferocious second wave of Covid.
On Friday morning too, another leading hospital in Delhi announced the deaths of 25 patients in 24 hours due to "low pressure oxygen".
In a statement, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital had said, "25 sickest patients have died in last 24 hours. Oxygen will last another two hours. Major crisis likely. Lives of another 60 sickest patients at risk, need urgent intervention."
Some 500 Covid patients are currently being treated at Ganga Ram. Of them, as many as 142 are on life support, according to the hospital.
It may also be mentioned here that 24 Covid patients on ventilator at a government hospital in the western Indian state of Maharashtra died on Wednesday after their oxygen supply ran out following leakage of the life-supporting gas from a tanker.
The tanker was brought to Zakir Hussain Municipal Hospital in the state's Nashik district to replenish the oxygen cylinders at the medical facility for continuous supply to the 150-plus Covid-19 patients on life support.
Such is the shortage of oxygen in the country that chief ministers of many Indian state's have raised the issue with the federal government, seeing Prime Minister Modi's immediate intervention to end the crisis.
"Serious oxygen crisis persists in Delhi. I again urge the Centre (federal government) to urgently provide oxygen to Delhi. Some hospitals are left with just a few hours of oxygen," Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted on Tuesday.
As per the latest figures released by the Indian Health Ministry, Delhi on Friday registered as many as 348 Covid deaths in 24 hours, its highest single-day toll to date.