A patient with Covid-19 corovirus breathes with the help of oxygen provided by Gurdwara, a Sikh place of worship, under a tent set up by the road in Ghaziabad on May 6, 2021.
Prakash Singh | AFP | Getty Images
On Thursday, India once again reported a record number of deaths and deaths as it faced a devastating second wave of Covid-1
Data from the Ministry of Health shows that 412,262 new cases of infections were registered in a period of 24 hours, resulting in a total of more than 21 million days after crossing the 20 million mark on Tuesday.
India also reported its highest daily mortality rate at 3,980 deaths. But media reports suggest that mortality is falling.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is facing criticism for allowing large crowds to gather for election rallies and religious festivals. earlier this year as well as the inability to anticipate or prepare for a second wave.
The Indian oxygen crisis
Cases began to rise in February, but the second wave accelerated in April. The resumption has hit hospitals struggling with bed shortages, as well as a limited supply of oxygen and medicines to treat patients. The international community is committed to sending medical care in the form of oxygen cylinders, concentrators and other medical supplies. Some of these shipments of aid have begun to arrive in India, according to reports.
However, the situation has not eased as the number of cases has increased and the severity of these cases, according to Abhay Soi, chairman and managing director of Max Healthcare, which has hospitals in Delhi, Maharashtra, Punjab and Uttarakhand.
“This means that, in essence, the oxygen requirement is also increasing,” he told CNBC’s Street Signs Asia on Tuesday.
“Usually the intensive care unit requires two and a half to three times the amount of oxygen required by a ward or patient in bed. So as criticality moves upwards, while mortality rises, you will see the need for oxygen also move upwards,” he said.
Soi explained that Max Healthcare conducts about 4,000 RT-PCR tests in the Delhi area a day, and about a week ago, these Covid-19 tests had a positive rate of more than 50%, which has since dropped to about 31%.
“So what you’re going to see right now are people who were infected about seven, eight days ago when they were admitted to hospitals,” he said, adding that these patients need a variety of medications and support, including oxygen.
The courts are coming
On Wednesday, India’s Supreme Court ordered the central government to present a comprehensive plan by Thursday, outlining steps it will take to meet medical oxygen needs for Delhi hospitals, including sources of supply and transportation. The country’s Supreme Court also left a notice of contempt issued by the Delhi Supreme Court on May 4 to the central government for disobeying orders to supply enough oxygen to Delhi hospitals.
Delhi Supreme Court judges Vipin Sangi and Reha Pali noted on Tuesday that hospitals and nursing homes need to reduce the number of beds on offer, as they are unable to service their existing capacity due to a lack of medical oxygen.
The territory of the National Capital of Delhi, which includes Indian The capital of New Delhi is one of the a few areas where there has been a rapid jump in cases, forcing local authorities to tighten restrictions to try to break the transmission chain.
India has enough oxygen available, but the main problem is around logistics, according to Siddhart Jain, director of Inox Air Products, one of the renowned manufacturers of industrial and medical gases in India.
Jane told CNBC’s Street Signs Asia on Wednesday that the country’s oxygen producers had increased production by more than 30 percent in recent weeks. He said India has more than 9,000 tonnes of oxygen a day, while medical oxygen consumption is slightly higher than 7,500 tonnes.
“There is certainly a lot of oxygen available. We just have to make the logistics right. It is available in parts of India that are far from the parts of consumption,” Jane said. He explained that most of India’s oxygen production occurs in the western and eastern states, some of which are relatively less densely populated and therefore do not need as much oxygen.
“Delhi is certainly the capital of India, but oxygen needs are all over the country,” he said. pointing out that there are challenges in moving oxygen from one part of India to another.
However, Soi from Max Healthcare said that although logistics have improved, there are still some gaps that need to be filled.
For its part, the Indian government has stepped up its efforts to streamline oxygen supplies to the country. He set up two medical oxygen plants in New Delhi within a week and allocated funds to install 500 such plants across India over the next three months.