NEW DELH – In a recent video post on Twitter, Dr. Gautam Singh, a cardiologist who runs the private Sri Ram Singh Hospital in east Delhi, lost his composure as he pleaded for help: “We have young patients who will die in a matter of two hours… Please send oxygen to us,” he begged on camera, clasping his hands together. “We need oxygen for our patients.”
Similar urgent appeals have been issued by several state-run hospitals.
India is not alone in the shortage of oxygen at hospitals but the deadly surge in COVID-19 cases exacerbated the crisis. As the number of cases dramatically spiked, hospitals quickly ran out of beds and oxygen supplies. Relatives of patients found themselves standing in long lines to get cylinders filled with the vital medical treatment. Some scoured one location after another in search of oxygen concentrators or cylinders.