India COVID crisis: Hospitals buckle under record surge

Let's Try And Not Be A Cry Baby: Centre To Delhi On Oxygen Crisis

New cases fell to 11,000 by mid-February, vaccines were being exported, and in March the health minister said India was "in the endgame" of the pandemic.

The number of deaths across India rose by 2,767 in the 24 hours to Sunday - the highest daily number so far.

SGRH has been getting oxygen supply through tankers for the past few days while it has been making efforts to set up its own oxygen plants amid what it called below-contracted delivery from its suppliers.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the Centre is "alive to this situation, and at the highest level, the matter is being considered for provision of adequate infrastructure such as hospital beds, equipment, oxygen, medical and para-medical staff to deal with the situation as and when it arises".

With many hospitals in the national capital expressing urgent need amid dire shortage of oxygen for serious COVID patients, the Delhi High Court on Saturday warned that it will not hesitate to "hang" anyone who is found obstructing oxygen supplies. The oxygen shortage has caused the death of Covid patients in at least one hospital in Delhi in the last 24 hours.

In Iraq, at least 23 lives were lost in a tragic fire at a Covid hospital.

"Please help us get oxygen, there will be a tragedy here", Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a conference on Friday.

The situation is worsening by the day with hospitals taking to social media to plead with the government to replenish their oxygen supplies and threatening to stop admissions of new patients.

Representing the Delhi government, Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra said that the system will collapse if the city did not receive 480 metric tonnes of oxygen on a daily basis.

As Indians were cooped up indoors for months, industrial tanks were repurposed for medical use and tanker trucks raced over empty motorways to transport oxygen across the vast country to hotspots.

The observation was made by the bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli during hearing of a plea by a hospital over shortage of oxygen.

Others said that it could also be a more unsafe variant of the virus coursing through India.

Ajoy Sehgal, a hospital spokesperson, would not comment on whether the 25 patients died from a lack of oxygen.

But, amid the surge, supplies in hard-hit places like New Delhi are running critically short.

"The oxygen pressure has dipped as we are running out of stock", Dr D K Baluja, the medical director of Jaipur Golden Hospital, told PTI.