Covid-19 Patients Die From Hospital Fire And Oxygen Shortages As Pandemic Continues To Ravage India

 Covid-19 Patients Die From Hospital Fire And Oxygen Shortages As Pandemic Continues To Ravage India

Topline

Fourteen Covid-19 patients were killed after a fire broke out inside the intensive care unit of a hospital in the outskirts of India’s financial hub Mumbai Friday, while a serious oxygen supply crisis reportedly caused at least 25 deaths in a New Delhi hospital, further highlighting the severity of the second wave of the pandemic in India which shows no signs of abating.

Key Facts

Early on Friday, a fire broke out in the ICU on the second floor of a four-storeyed hospital near Mumbai resulting in the deaths of at least 14 patients who were being treated for Covid-19.

According to Indian news channel NDTV, the hospital’s CEO said they had about 90 patients admitted at the time of the incident.

The cause of the fire is unknown but the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, the western Indian state where the hospital was located, has ordered a full investigation.

In another incident in India’s capital, New Delhi, at least 25 Covid-19 patients lost their lives at Ganga Ram Hospital and the lives of 60 others were reportedly in jeopardy as the hospital faced a serious oxygen supply crisis.

The hospital’s Medical Director blamed the low-pressure flow of oxygen to the patients—caused by the scarcity—as the likely cause behind the deaths.

The hospital’s chairman, however, told the media that the deaths can’t directly be ascribed to lack of oxygen.

Big Number

332,730. That’s the total number of Covid-19 cases India reported on Friday—a new daily record for any country—eclipsing the previous high of 314,835 set on Thursday. The country also reported 2,263 deaths from Covid-19 on Friday, its worst single-day toll which also eclipses the previous high set on Thursday.

Key Background

Several hospitals in New Delhi, India’s new Covid-19 epicenter, are facing an acute shortage of oxygen supply. Several major private hospitals in the city had issued SOS alerts about depleting oxygen supply inside their premises. Oxygen and hospital beds remain scarce in several other parts of India as the country’s health care system buckles under the massive surge in new coronavirus cases. The Supreme Court asked the national government on Thursday to formulate a “national plan” on the supply of oxygen and essential drugs for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

Further Reading

India’s hospitals desperately plea for oxygen, fire kills 13 (Associated Press)

14 Covid Patients In ICU Killed In Maharashtra Hospital Fire (NDTV)

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