Oxygen demand outstrips supply in India hotspots

Oxygen demand outstrips supply in India hotspots”

"The virus is swallowing our city's people like a monster", said Mamtesh Sharma, an official at the site.

© Thomson Reuters People carry oxygen cylinders after refilling them in a factory, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ahmedabad, India, April 25, 2021.

Fortis Healthcare, a chain of hospitals across India, said Saturday that one of its hospitals in New Delhi "is running out of oxygen" and was suspending admissions.

The unprecedented rush of bodies has forced the crematorium to abandon individual ceremonies and rituals that Hindus believe release the soul from the cycle of rebirth. "But we're assuming, clearly, that they need vaccines", he said. "It is as if we are in the middle of a war".

"When people in India and elsewhere desperately need help, we can't let vaccines sit in a warehouse, we need to get them where they'll save lives", he said.

"There is desperation among people all around".

Hospitals across the city - government and private - have been facing an acute shortage of liquid oxygen as demand is high and supply has been hampered, sometimes because of a tussle between state governments and sometimes because of lack of cryogenic tankers. Hospitals and patients alike are struggling to procure scarce medical equipment that is being sold at inflated prices.

Dr. Vineeta Bal, who studies immune systems at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Pune city, said that at the heart of India's "paralyzing" oxygen shortage was the sense of complacency that took hold as cases declined.

The breakdown is a stark failure for a country whose prime minister only in January had declared victory over COVID-19, and which boasted of being the "world's pharmacy", a global producer of vaccines and a model for other developing nations.

More news: India doesnt want peace in Pakistan, says Sheikh Rasheed after Quetta blast

Jitender Singh Shunty, who runs a non-profit medical service in India's capitol, said that 78 bodies were cremated in a single day at one location on Tuesday He said past year, the maximum number of bodies he helped cremate in one day was 18.

One of Delhivery's executives further tweeted that, that the flight will take place most likely on Wednesday and Friday to import oxygen compressors, and that the company is doing this at minimal margins for compressors and other essentials, and have a spare capacity as things stand.

The surge in India is expected to peak in mid-May with the daily count of infections reaching half a million, the Indian Express said, citing an internal government assessment.

She said the government should have used the previous year, when the virus was more under control, to develop plans to address a surge and "stockpiled medications and developed public-private partnerships to help with manufacturing essential resources in the event of a situation like this".

A Twitter spokesperson said it had powers to "withhold access to the content in India only" if the company determined the content to be "illegal in a particular jurisdiction".

Dr Paul did not respond to a Reuters request for comment. "PM Narendra Modi and I will keep working in partnership on this global challenge", Australian PM tweeted.

"To the people of India I want to express my sympathy on the bad suffering that Covid-19 has again brought over your communities", Merkel said in a message shared on Twitter by her spokesman Steffen Seibert.

World Health Organization emergencies director Mike Ryan said reducing transmission in India would be a "very hard task" but the government was working on limiting mixing between people, which he said was essential.

"Humanitarian issues require responses beyond political consideration", Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said.

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