Doctor, seven other die after Delhi hospital runs out of oxygen

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Batra Hospital (image:
Batra Hospital (image:

New Delhi : Eight people, including a doctor, lost their lives after Delhi's Batra Hospital ran out of oxygen on Saturday afternoon. This has happened for the second time in a week.

Six of the eight people were admitted to the ICU ward and two were in the general ward of the hospital. The doctor, who lost his life, has been identified as Dr RK Himathani, the head of the Gastroenterology unit.

Hospital officials told the Delhi High Court - holding a 11th straight day of hearings into the city's oxygen crisis - that tankers only reached the hospital at around 1.30 pm, meaning that around 230 critically ill patients were without oxygen for an hour and 20 minutes.

"We ran out of oxygen at 11.45 pm. Supply came at 1.30. We were out of oxygen for 1 hour and 20 mins," the hospital told the court.

"We hope no lives were lost," the court responded, to which the hospital said: "We have... including one of our own... one doctor."

This was the second occasion within a week when Batra Hospital ran out of oxygen. On April 24 the hospital received a last-minute re-supply that arrived minutes after its oxygen reserves ran out.

Earlier today Dr Sudhanshu Bankata, Batra's Executive Director, sent out a video SOS.

"We have just run out of oxygen... currently surviving on some cylinders. Over the next 10 minutes that will also run out. We are again in crisis mode. Delhi government is trying to help but their tanker is some distance away," he said.

AAP leader Raghav Chadha responded: "Our SOS cryogenic tanker carrying Liquid Medical Oxygen is reaching Batra Hospital within five minutes. Their regular supplier of oxygen has defaulted yet again due to alleged 'lack of oxygen supplies' and is being pulled up."

India is going through a rough phase of coronavirus where 4 lakh new cases have been registered in last 24 hours, highest by any country in the world.

Delhi has recorded between 24,000 and 28,000 cases per day over the past two weeks, and has also reported record numbers of Covid-related deaths per day.