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20 COVID-19 patients die at hospital in Delhi due to oxygen shortage

Christian Fernsby |
Twenty COVID-19 patients admitted at a hospital in the Indian capital died due to a shortage of oxygen, officials said Saturday.

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The deaths took place at a private health institute, Jaipur Golden Hospital, in Delhi.

"We had been allotted 3.5 metric tons of oxygen from the government. The supply was to reach us by 5:00 (local time) in the evening yesterday but it reached around midnight. By then, 20 patients had died," D K Baluja, medical director at Jaipur Golden Hospital, said.

According to Baluja, these patients were critically ill and the deaths happened in the critical care area.

"Yes, the oxygen pressure was down for some time. They didn't die during that period exactly, it takes 10 minutes here and there, but the pressure was definitely low. They are generally on a very high load of oxygen so that is the reason," Baluja said. "A normal patient would have coped. Those with high requirements couldn't cope with the deficiency."

Baluja said at least 215 COVID-19 patients admitted at the hospital were critical and in dire need of oxygen.

The deaths have highlighted the worsening situation in the national capital's hospitals, which have been showing an urgent need for oxygen.

On Friday, 25 critical patients admitted at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi died under similar circumstances.

India on Saturday reported historical highs of daily surge with 346,786 new cases and 2,624 deaths in the past 24 hours. Reports said this is the fastest rise in cases and deaths any country has suffered until now since the outbreak of the pandemic.

In the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals across India have been reporting a shortage of oxygen supply and urged the federal government to replenish their stocks.

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