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Coronavirus | Shortage of oxygen supply in Gujarat hospitals

Healthcare workers shift a Covid-19 patient with oxygen cylinder to 1200 bed Covid-19 Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad.   | Photo Credit: VIJAY SONEJI

Hospitals in Gujarat are facing acute shortage of oxygen in the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Instances of patients dying in hospitals or in ambulances without the supply of oxygen are being reported. Five patients died at a private hospital in Navsari because of shortage of medical oxygen.

“There is a massive shortage of medical grade oxygen in hospitals. The government has ramped up the capacity but still, the volume of cases needing assistance in breathing has led to a shortage,” a senior hospital manager told The Hindu.

The government has directed that 70% of the total oxygen produced in the State should be reserved for the medical and healthcare segment only. The State government has also set up a control room to coordinate and streamline the supply of oxygen cylinders in various hospitals.

Though the supply is being streamlined in major cities like Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot, the situation is worsening in smaller towns as the pandemic spreads to villages and rural areas, from where the patients are first taken to taluk level hospitals. Sources said it would two-three more days to streamline oxygen supply to smaller towns.

Gujarat saw a new record of cases and deaths on Friday, when 8,920 new infections were reported along with 94 deaths, its highest single day toll so far.

“There is no respite from the surge in cases and deaths. We are likely to cross the 10,000 cases per day mark in the next few days, while the active cases are likely to reach around 1 lakh by the end of this month,” a medical expert said. As on Friday, the State’s total active cases stood at 49,737.

Despite the rise in cases and deaths as reported by the State Health Department, the actual numbers are likely to be substantially higher given the massive shortage of hospital beds, necessary medicines like Remdesivir injections, and oxygen.

Long queues forming outside crematoria in all major cities suggests that the actual number of deaths could be much higher. In one crematorium in Surat, five dead bodies were cremated on one pyre as the local authorities were trying to cope with the surge in deaths in the diamond city.

According to local media reports, 52 persons died of COVID-19 infections on Friday in Rajkot.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 6:34:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-shortage-of-oxygen-supply-in-gujarat-hospitals/article34339204.ece

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