Two Indian hospitals receive emergency oxygen supplies – but it will only last two hours


Relatives of a deceased Covid-19 patient mourn outside a hospital in Ahmedabad, India on April 17.
Relatives of a patient who died from Covid-19 mourn outside a hospital in Ahmedabad, India on April 17. Ajit Solanki / AP

The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in India devastated lives and completely overwhelmed hospitals and medical resources.

A new world record: India reported 332,730 new cases of Covid-19 on Friday, the highest number of daily cases in the world for the second day in a row. That brings India’s total to more than 16 million cases, according to a CNN tally of figures from India’s Ministry of Health. The country added more than a million cases in four days.

India also reported its highest single-day death toll since the start of the pandemic, with 2,263 deaths on Friday.

Oxygen shortage: At least six private hospitals in the Indian capital New Delhi ran out of oxygen on Thursday, according to the city’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia. He added that supplies had not reached New Delhi, even after the central government allocated 480 metric tons of oxygen to the capital.

Workers prepare to fill oxygen cylinders for hospital treatment of Covid-19 patients on the outskirts of Jabalpur, India on April 18.
Workers prepare to fill oxygen cylinders for hospital treatment of Covid-19 patients in the suburb of Jabalpur, India on April 18. Uma Shankar Mishra / AFP / Getty Images

Strained health care infrastructure: As of Friday morning, there were only 25 intensive care beds available in the capital, a Delhi government dashboard showed. The Delhi High Court also on Thursday overturned a government order requiring Covid-19 testing labs to provide results in less than 36 hours. The court noted that the labs “refuse and refuse people” for this reason and said that “there is no reason to now require positive reporting within 36 hours, especially when the pandemic is four times greater than last year. ”

A black market for drugs has emerged: With the surge in Covid-19 cases in India, demand for Remdesivir has skyrocketed. But as hospitals face shortages, black market traders are charging up to 10 times the recommended retail price for the antiviral drug, despite the lack of clarity on its effectiveness in treating the virus.

Vaccinations are carried out at an indoor stadium in Guwahati, India on April 22.
Vaccinations are carried out at an indoor stadium in Guwahati, India on April 22. Biju Boro / AFP / Getty Images

Vaccinations: India has administered 135 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from Thursday, according to India’s Minister of Health, Dr Harsh Vardhan. Currently, India only vaccinates its health workers, frontline workers and people aged 45 and over. As of May 1, it will open up vaccination to everyone 18 and over, which will be its largest cohort. It is stated that this age group will need to procure vaccines from the state government or purchase them from private providers.



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