As the country struggles to cope with the second wave of the most deadly flu pandemic, India is extremely scarce of medical oxygen. But bureaucratic obstacles prevent critical resources from being available to those who need them. In the past few weeks, the number of coronavirus infections in India has increased exponentially, leading to a flood of medical supplies and patients being killed in ambulances and parking lots near hospitals and crematoriums.
India also ran out of oxygen which is very important for the infected. The severe shortage of medical services has become a serious problem for hospitals in many states of the country. Dozens of hospitals in various cities in India ran out of oxygen and sent relatives of patients. According to news reports and sources, although the district administration denied the cause, 24 people died in a hospital in southern Karnataka on Sunday night after the hospital ran out of oxygen. Several hospitals eagerly requested oxygen on social media, but supplies arrived on time.
One children’s clinic in Delhi issued an alert about hypoxia on Twitter. According to reports, hypoxia puts 25 to 30 new borns and children at risk. Oxygen therapy is essential for patients with severe COVID and hypoxemia. Experts test that India produces enough oxygen to exceed 7,000 tons per day. Most are used for industrial purposes, but can be used for medical purposes. In view of the strong demand in the health system, the supplier has increased the production capacity.
Foreign aid stuck in Delhi airport
However, most of the oxygen generators are located in eastern India, while demand in cities in the western and northern parts of the country has soared. Liquid oxygen at low temperatures in storage tanks must be transported in cryogenic containers. The dealer then converts it to gas to fill the bottle. However, there is no cryogenic tanker in India. “The number of tankers and oxygen tanks is limited. Therefore, refueling and logistics to the destination are a serious bottleneck,” Dr. Meher Prakash said. The Jawaharlal Nehru Advanced Scientific Research Center reported the situation to DW, Hypoxia is not only a major problem in cities but also in small towns and villages where medical infrastructure is already very weak. Bajpai said: “What is worrying is that there has been almost no discussion of a COVID-19 strategy to resolve many constraints including oxygen supply in rural India.” Foreign aid is stranded at Delhi Airport.
In the past few days, emergency medical assistance has been received from foreign donors. On Sunday, the United States transported one-third of the six shipments of humanitarian aid, including 1,000 oxygen agents, the United Kingdom donated more than 400 oxygen concentrators, and France condemned eight oxygen generators, each of which produced oxygen. The device can provide services for 250 patients. A German military aircraft carrying 120 fans also arrived in India on Saturday.
The authorities said they plan to conduct additional flights and increase supplies. An ambulance can save lives, and it seems it hasn’t reached the people who suffocated with oxygen. According to local media reports, about 20 rescue flights have arrived so far, but customs have delayed the cargo for several weeks.