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Govt to import oxygen containers, plants from Germany

The problem India, in importing oxygen, facing is transportation due to an acute deficiency of containers to carry. The government is in talks with all the stakeholders to get the containers…reports Sumit Kumar Singh.

Amid reports of shortage of oxygen in the hospitals during the second wave of Covid across the country, India will be importing oxygen generation plants and containers from Germany to cater the shortage.

Government sources said that 23 mobile oxygen generation plants are being air lifted from Germany. These will be deployed in static hospitals and provide adequate oxygen to the needy.

Further, sources said that India is procuring a large number of oxygen containers for adequate supply of oxygen in Delhi and other states.

The government planned to assign Indian Air Force to airlift in oxygen containers and equipment from friendly nations.

The problem India, in importing oxygen, facing is transportation due to an acute deficiency of containers to carry. The government is in talks with all the stakeholders to get the containers.

The government had roped in the air force to airlift oxygen cylinders, regulators, and essential medicines as the national capital region faces shortage of oxygen cylinders and medicines.

The IAF started airlifting personnel, doctors and nursing staff to help the government battle the pandemic.

So far IAF has airlifted doctors and nursing staff from Kochi, Mumbai, Vizag and Bengaluru for setting up of a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Covid hospital at Delhi. The force had also airlifted oxygen containers of DRDO from Bengaluru for Covid centres at Delhi.

On Tuesday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh directed all the defence establishments to setting up of more Covid-19 hospitals, use emergency powers and to bring in retired personnel to tackle the crisis.

A roadmap on how military infrastructure can be used to ramp up the fight against Covid-19 was also discussed in a Covid preparedness review meeting chaired by the Minister.

Further after the directions of the government, Army hospital at Delhi Cantonment area has been converted into Covid facility for people infected with the virus in Delhi.

The DRDO had stated that they have set up a Covid hospital in Delhi with 250 beds, and the capacity will be increased to 500 and then 1,000 if required.

Rajnath Singh instructed more fully functional Covid hospitals to be set up in Lucknow, Patna, Varanasi, and Ahmedabad within 8-10 days and also in other places where required.

Ambulances with patients waiting inside dot the road outside this 1,200-bed facility – patients’ screams and their family members’ worried conversations present a grim scenario. (Pallav Paliwal)

He said that the ESIC Hospital, which was converted to Covid hospital in Patna, has started functioning with 500 beds. He added that work is on war footing to set up a 450-bed hospital in Lucknow, a 750-bed hospital in Varanasi, and a 900-bed hospital in Ahmedabad.

There was also discussion on roping in retired military doctors and nursing staff for assistance if they volunteer.

The minister also had suggested utilizing the services of vaccinated retired armed forces personnel to assist the civil administration and state governments to deal with the current situation.

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Clock ticks for out-of-breath patients

Delhi Disaster Management Authority appoints two senior bureaucrats as nodal officers to ensure smooth movement of tankers and facilitate oxygen supply to city hospitals, reports Asian Lite News

The unabated second wave of Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across the country. According the health ministry, a total of 3,32,730 Covid cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, according to health ministry data released on Friday.

The country also registered over 2,000 daily deaths for the third consecutive day with the highest spike in single-day deaths of 2,263 on Friday, since the Covid-19 pandemic early last year, taking the cumulative death toll in India to 1,86,920 so far.

Meanwhile, Delhi recorded its highest ever fatalities over the last 24 hours — 306 Covid patients died and more than 26,000 cases were logged. According to a Delhi government health bulletin released late on Thursday, the city’s positivity rate stood at 36.24 per cent, meaning every third person who underwent the test was infected.

Delhi has been logging over 25,000 cases for days now. The huge numbers have converted its hospitals to battle zones where for the last three days, the doctors have been fighting to save patients amid a massive shortage of beds and most crucially, oxygen.

Outside many hospitals, desperate relatives of patients could be seen waiting, many in tears, appealing for a bed and treatment for their loved ones.

Also read:24 Covid patients die after oxygen leak

Since morning, several private hospitals in Delhi said they ran out of oxygen, and two approached the High Court for relief. The Delhi government listed several hospitals which were completely out of supplies even as other hospitals flagged shortages to press and on social media.

Around 25 Covid-19 patients have died in the last 24 hours in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, the hospital authority said here on Friday.

Relative of a coronavirus victim mourns outside a mortuary of a COVID-19 hospital in New Delhi(IANS)

Sir Ganga Ram Hospital raised an alarm for immediate need of oxygen supply as over 140 critical patients admitted in the hospitals were on ventilators and on oxygen support.

With Delhi Government’s efforts, the hospitals received oxygen supply, however, the hospitals said it received only two MT of oxygen which will last merely for the next few hours.

“Ventilators and Bipap are not working effectively. Resorting to manual ventilation in ICUs and ED. Major Major crisis likely. life of another 60 sickest patients at risk. Need urgent intervention,” said Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, in a statement early morning on Friday.

Amid flood of complaints regarding oxygen shortage by over a dozen hospitals, including government-run hospitals, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has appointed two senior bureaucrats as nodal officers to ensure smooth movement of tankers and facilitate oxygen supply to the city hospitals.

Workers unload oxygen cylinders for COVID-19 patients(IANS)

The DDMA also directed the Delhi Police to provide a green corridor for all oxygen tankers from point of entry to the designated destination when they arrive.

The move came hours after Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia alleged that the police force in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana were blocking oxygen transport to the national capital and urged the Centre to ensure normal supply even if that meant taking the help of paramilitary forces.

Also read:Delhi gasps for oxygen

According to the DDMA order, senior IAS officer Udit Prakash will be responsible for ensuring smooth and seamless movement of tankers till borders of Delhi and sort out all issues pertaining to suppliers, states and the Central government.

It also stated that IAS officer Vijay Bidhuri will be responsible for controlling, coordinating and facilitating the supply of oxygen to health establishments.

Workers load medical oxygen cylinders for hospital use on Covid-19 coronavirus patients amid the rising cases(IANS)

Meanwhile, hospitals in Gurugram are running short of beds for Covid patients. As per the district administration’s Covid portal, there were no ICU beds or beds with ventilator support available, while only 22 oxygenated beds were available in the district.

Officials, however, have assured that they are making every effort to increase the number of beds in Gurugram. According to the administration’s Covid portal, a total of 22 beds with oxygen support were available at the ESI Hospital located in Sector-9, Gurugram.

Gurugram on Friday reported its highest ever single-day spike of 3,553 Covid cases, with the number of active cases crossing the 18,000-mark to 18,120, of which 17,068 are under home isolation, as per the health bulletin issued by the district health department.

Also read:India to press IAF into service for oxygen import

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Delhi gasps for oxygen

CM Kejriwal says the government has repeatedly appealed to the Centre to increase its oxygen quota and has also informed it that the suppliers are facing obstructions from district authorities of Haryana and UP, reports Asian Lite News.

Delhi is gasping for oxygen for a second day running as several hospitals are left with a few hours’ stock.

With the alarming surge in the number of Covid cases in the national capital, if the oxygen quota gets depleted in hospitals, Delhi will stare at a catastrophe, the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government has said in statement.

The statement came after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the “Centre has increased Delhi’s oxygen quota”.

“The Centre announced that it will supply 480 metric tonnes of oxygen to Delhi, which will take almost 72 hours to reach. The city is running out of time. A total of 140 MT of oxygen, which was supposed to reach Delhi, has not reached the capital so far,” the statement said.

It added that the Delhi government has repeatedly appealed to the Centre to increase its oxygen quota and has also informed it that the suppliers are facing obstructions from district authorities of neighbouring states like Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

The Delhi government has been demanding oxygen supply from the Centre of up to 700 MT per day. However, it received around 240 MT oxygen on Monday and 365 MT on Tuesday, according to the statement.

Lacking with its own source of oxygen, Delhi’s supply comes mainly from the neighbouring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

India records world’s highest single-day spike

Meanwhile, India reported over 3 lakh cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, the highest daily increase in infections the country has recorded in the pandemic so far. No country has recorded more cases in a single day. There were 2,104 deaths reported on the same day, another record for India. With 3,14,835 new cases, the total infections stand at 1,59,30,965. The toll, meanwhile, stands at 1,84,657.

Amid the oxygen crisis in the national capital, the Delhi High Court came down strongly on the Centre on Wednesday, saying it seemed that “human lives are not that important… for the state. Beg, borrow or steal. It is a national emergency,” the Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said. The court’s observations come as several private hospitals reached out to the Delhi government regarding depleting oxygen supplies.

“We are shocked and dismayed that the government does not seem to be seeing the reality… What is happening? Why is the government not waking up to the reality,” said the court.

“There is no sense of humanity left or what. What are we looking at… This is really, really ridiculous. You’re concerned about industries at this point of time when people are dying in thousands. One week, two weeks, your industries can wait. It is an emergency of such a grave nature,” it said.

Govt plans to import oxygen containers

India is deliberating on importing oxygen containers and equipment from friendly foreign nations to address the oxygen crisis faced by the country in the middle of the raging second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Central government is also planning to press the Indian Air Force (IAF) into airlifting oxygen containers and equipment from other nations.

“The deliberations are still on,” said a source, adding that the places from where these containers and other equipment could be airlifted have been identified.

The source said that the problem India is facing in importing oxygen is transportation due to an acute shortage of containers to carry the life-saving gas. The government is in talks with all the stakeholders in this matter.

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COVID-19 India News

Priyanka: People cry for oxygen, PM laughs at rallies

The letter was immediately rebutted by Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan who said history shall be kinder to Singh if his offer and valuable advice was followed by Congress members…reports Asian Lite News.

Amid the Covid surge and Oxygen shortage Priyanka Gandhi slammed the Modi government’s irresponsible attitude towards the situation. In a scathing attack on the Union Government Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday claimed that the Centre can hold talks with Pakistan’s intelligence agency (Inter-Services Intelligence) but can’t talk to Opposition leaders amid the prevailing crisis.

Speaking to us the senior Congress leader said, “This government can speak to Inter-Services Intelligence ISI. They are speaking to ISI ,Dubai. Can’t they talk to Opposition leaders? I don’t think there is any Opposition leader who’s not giving them constructive and positive suggestions.”
Targetting the Prime Minister amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, she said, “Prime Minister should stop his public relation exercise and talk to the people and opposition parties over the crisis of COVID-19.”
“Today I do not think that there is  any opposition leader who is not giving constructive and positive suggestions. And all the political parties are saying that we are with you (Centre).

In a democracy, work only progresses only by discussion, sometimes criticism has to be heard on such an occasion the whole country is facing this crisis,” she said.
“This tu-tu main-main does not suit anyone, you (Prime Minister) have to stand with the public, add us all, we will fight together,” she added.
“If opposition leaders do not raise their voice then who will?” she asked.
“Manmohan Singh ji was Prime Minister for 10 years. Everyone knows how dignified a person he is. If he is giving suggestions when the nation is facing a pandemic, then suggestions should be taken up with the same dignity with which they were offered,” she said.

The comments of the Congress General Secretary came after former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Sunday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “resist the temptation to look at the absolute number of vaccinations and focus on the percentage of the population vaccinated”.
In a letter to Modi .Singh also listed suggestions for consideration “in a spirit of constructive cooperation”. The letter was immediately rebutted by Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan who said history shall be kinder to Singh if his offer and valuable advice was followed by Congress members.
Meanwhile, continuing her attack on the Centre, the Congress General Secretary said, “For God’s sake, Prime Minister Narendra Modi do it now. Use every resource you have at your disposal to move it to where it is needed. People are dying. Every life matters.”

She also targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party for its continued election campaign in West Bengal despite a spike in COVID-19 numbers.
“The government needs to be sensitive at this time the Prime Minister needs to show up, he needs to get off the stage where he is laughing and cracking jokes,” she said.
In view of the spike in COVID-19 cases, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday announced the suspension of all his forthcoming public rallies in poll-bound West Bengal and advised other political leaders to do the same.
Meanwhile, the Congress General Secretary said that she has written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath asking him to waive off permission by Chief Medical Officier for admitting COVID-19 patients to the hospitals.

Talking about the health care system in the state, she said that COVID-19 patients are facing a dire situation where they have to wait for hours before being hospitalised.
Nearly 3 lakh new COVID-19 cases and over 2,000 deaths were reported in India on Wednesday, a record-high since the pandemic broke last year.
As per the Union Health Ministry, as many as 2,95,041 new COVID-19 cases and 2,023 deaths were reported, taking the total cases to 1,56,16,130, including 21,57,538 active cases.
As many as 1,32,76,039 recoveries have been reported so far, out of which 1,67,457 were reported in the last 24 hours. (ANI)

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DRDO develops oxygen delivery system

Hypoxia is a state in which the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues is inadequate to fulfill all the energy requirements of the body. This is exactly the situation that gets replicated in a Covid patient due to the virus infection and has been a leading factor in the current crisis…reports Asian Lite News.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation) supplemental Oxygen Delivery System for soldiers posted at extreme high-altitude areas.

Developed by Defence Bio-Engineering & ElectroMedical Laboratory (DEBEL), Bengaluru of DRDO, the system delivers supplemental oxygen based on the SpO2 levels and prevents the person from sinking in to a state of Hypoxia, which is fatal in most cases, if sets in. This automatic system can also prove to be a boon during the current Covid-19 situation.

Hypoxia is a state in which the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues is inadequate to fulfill all the energy requirements of the body. This is exactly the situation that gets replicated in a Covid patient due to the virus infection and has been a leading factor in the current crisis.

The electronic hardware of the system is designed for functioning at extreme altitudes featuring low barometric pressures, low temperatures and humidity. The software safety checks incorporated into the system are critical in ensuring the functional reliability of the system in field conditions.

The system reads SpO2 levels of the subject from a wrist-worn pulse oximeter module through wireless interface and controls a proportional solenoid valve to regulate the oxygen supply to the subject. The oxygen is delivered from a lightweight portable oxygen cylinder through nasal nares.

The system is available in various sizes from one litre and one kg weight with 150 litres of oxygen supply to 10 litres & 10 kg weight with 1,500 litres of oxygen supply which can sustain for 750 minutes with a continuous flow of two liters per min (lpm).

Since the system is indigenously developed for operation in field conditions, it is unique with its dual qualities of being robust & cheap and is already in bulk production with the industry.

The system is a boon in the current pandemic as it can be used in the household for moderate Covid patients for Oxygen flow therapy with flow controlled at 2/5/7/10 lpm flow. The automatic usage has a huge advantage in the household, as the oximeter would give an alarm for lower SpO2 value.

It will automatically increase/decrease the O2 flow based on SpO2 setting which can be auto adjusted at 2, 5, 7, 10 lpm flow rate. The optimal O2 flow rate conserves the O2 resources/O2 management and greatly increases the endurance.

With its availability and simple to use facility by a common person, the system shall greatly reduce the workload and exposure time of doctors and paramedics to monitor the SpO2 levels of the patient. The automated Calibrated Variable Flow Control for Low O2 levels (User preset, <90%, <80%) through a calibrated Flow Control Valve (PFCV) will facilitate in economising the oxygen supply (1-10 lpm with ±0.5 lpm). A moderate Covid patient requires long term moderate O2 supply 10Litre/150bar–10kg–1500 litres which can sustain up to 750 minutes.

This automated, easy to use Oxygen Delivery System now available is a great boon particularly in these critical times when medical resources are stretched to their limits. Its proliferation would mitigate the crisis in management of such a huge number of Covid patients in many ways all across the country.

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Lockdown only the last resort: Modi

PM says discipline and self-control key in fighting the pandemic’s second wave to ensure safety of life, economy and livelihood, reports Asian Lite News.

Listing the challenges, success and the way ahead to fight the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic that has swept the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an address to the nation advised state governments to use lockdown as the last resort.

Delivering the address on the eve of Navaratri, Modi said the discipline of Lord Ram and the holy month of Ramadan needs to be an inspiration to follow to avert a crisis that will save lives, economy and livelihood of Indians.


“In today’s circumstances, we have to save the country from lockdown. We have to concentrate on micro containment zones and have to try our best to avoid lockdown. Confidence by the states will greatly help the workers and labourers and they will get the vaccine wherever they are and their work will also not suffer,” Modi said.

On shortage of oxygen, Modi said, “The government is working with speed and sensitivity to meet the increasing demand of oxygen in the various parts of the country. The Centre, state governments and private sector are trying to ensure that every needy person gets oxygen. Efforts to increase oxygen production and supply are on at various levels. Measures like installing new oxygen plants, providing one lakh new cylinders, diverting oxygen from the industrial use, are being undertaken.”

Modi emphasised that the country has much better knowledge and resources to meet the challenge than the initial days of the first wave.

India on Wednesday hit another grim milestone of 2,95,041 new cases in 24 hours. With this, the country’s overall Covid tally reached 1.56 crore, according to the health ministry’s data.

In the same time span, India also reported record number of 2,023 deaths. The daily deaths crossed 2,000 for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic last year, taking the total death toll so far in the country to 1,82,553. India had reported 1,761 deaths on Tuesday.

For the last seven days, India has been reporting over 2 lakh cases daily cases from across the country. India reported 2,59,170 cases on April 20, 2,73,510 on April 19, 2,61,500 on April 18, 2,34,692 on April 17, 2,17,353 on April 16 and 2,00,739 on April 15.

Oxygen Shortage Hits States in India (Photo: Pallav Paliwal)

The Health Ministry said that a total of 16,39,357 samples were tested in the last 24 hours. So far, a total of 27,10,53,392 samples have been tested in the country.

Maharashtra remained on the top worst Covid-19 affected with 62,097 new cases in the last 24 hours, followed by Uttar Pradesh (29,574 cases) and Delhi (28,395 cases) and Karnataka (21,794 cases), according to the health ministry.

Delhi on the edge

Large Crowds of migrant workers in Lucknow , April 20,2021 (photo: Pallav Paliwal)

In the last seven days, more than 1,200 have fallen prey to Covid-19 in the national capital, which reported its highest single-day death toll of 277 on Tuesday, taking its overall toll to 12,638 till date.

Delhi reported 28,395 new Covid-19 cases, the highest single-day spike since the outbreak of the pandemic last year, while the test positivity rate rose to 32.82 per cent, according to the health bulletin issued by the Delhi government. As of now, Delhi has as many as 85,575 active cases of which 40,124 are in home isolation.

The single-day death toll in Delhi had breached the three-figure mark for the first time in 2021 on April 14 (104), after reporting 81 deaths the day before. Since then, the death toll has been steadily increasing, shattering all previous records.

According to Delhi government data, on April 15, the city reported 112 Covid related deaths, 141 on April 16, 167 on April 17 and 161 on April 18.

Covid-19 patients are struggling to find a bed in the government hospitals and the situation is worse for those seeking beds with ventilator support.

A woman at the LNJP hospital, whose husband is admitted there since Saturday, said, “It has been more than 12 hours, but I have no information about my husband. Usually there is a facility to connect video calls, but since last night, no one is responding. I come here everyday carrying food for my husband.

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