COVID-19 Patients Dying Without Oxygen In India Amid Surge In Cases
For a fourth day in a row, India has set an unwelcome world record for the number of new coronavirus infections: 349,691 cases on Sunday morning, with another 2,767 lives lost with Delhi being one of the worst-hit areas.
According to BBC, hospitals in Delhi are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients and citizens are in desperation.
Miracles are what many families in Delhi are left to rely on. Most hospitals are full and many of them are refusing new admissions owing to the uncertainty over oxygen supply.
Oxygen-equipped ambulances are in short supply and it’s becoming difficult for families to transport patients to hospitals even if they find a bed.
There are a few cases where patients have died because they did not get high-flow oxygen support. Every morning starts with frantic calls from friends, family and colleagues asking for a bed, oxygen cylinders or medicines.
However, doctors and officials who could earlier help are no longer available to speak on the phone. Helplines are not working and the vendors who could earlier help have run out of supplies.
That’s how Delhi is functioning at the moment. Friends are calling friends; social media is awash with desperate pleas for help.
However, it’s almost impossible to find a hospital bed now. Oxygen cylinders and medicines are in short supply. On Saturday, Saroj Hospital and Batra Hospital told families to take their patients away as they were running out of oxygen.
The city has been been reporting more than 24,000 cases daily in the past few days. The hospitals are completely overrun, and healthcare workers are exhausted.
Some people are taking dangerous journeys with their critically ill relatives to other cities which are 300-500km (18-300 miles) away..
Dr A Fathahudeen, who is part of Kerala state’s COVID-19 task force, says the crisis is unprecedented and doctors can’t do much if oxygen supply is not guaranteed.
You need high-pressure liquid oxygen for the smooth functioning of ventilators and bi-pap machines. When the pressure drops, the machines fail to deliver adequate oxygen into the lungs, and the consequences can be fatal.
He added that oxygen is one of the major treatments to stabilise the patient, allowing doctors time to assess them and plan a future course of treatment.
Dr Fathahudeen noted that urgent measures are needed as patients are dying without getting the treatment they require.
The Indian army is one of the finest in the world to build makeshift hospitals and ICU beds within a short span of time. They should be roped in.
The situation is not very different in other cities, including Pune, Nashik, Lucknow, Bhopal, Indore and Allahabad, as the second COVID-19 wave devastates the country.
India reported 349,000 cases on Friday – a record daily spike. It reported 2,767 deaths. However, experts say the actual numbers are likely to be much higher.
Getting tested has become very difficult in many cities as labs are overrun. As earlier stated, many people are dying at home because they are not getting hospital beds or they are not being able to get tested for COVID-19.
As at Sunday morning, India recorded 16,960,172 cases, 192,311 deaths and 14,085,110 recoveries.