The crisis started two weeks ago but is showing no signs of receding. At least 12 patients, including a doctor, died when a leading hospital ran out of oxygen on Saturday.
Outside hospitals, families of patients who can’t find a bed struggle to get hold of portable cylinders – sometimes standing in line for up to 12 hours.
Several major hospitals in Delhi depend on the daily oxygen supply, but they don’t get enough to keep a few as a backup in case of an emergency.
A doctor described the situation as terrifying and explained, “Once you’ve used up your main tank, there’s nothing to fall back on.” The situation is even worse in small hospitals that do not have storage tanks and rely on large cylinders. And the oxygen crisis comes as the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase.
Delhi alone reported more than 20,000 new infections and 407 deaths on Sunday.