Coronavirus in India: investigating if lack of oxygen caused the death of 24 patients in a hospital

India approaches 20 million infections amid oxygen shortage

India is the second most affected country in the world in absolute terms by the pandemic, only behind the United States, which registered 32.4 million cases, it is mired in a dizzying second wave that has collapsed its health system.

Registry 368,147 new infections in the last 24 hours, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Health, a slight drop for the second day in a row after the country on Saturday surpassed the barrier of 400,000 positives for the first time.

Since the start of the pandemic, this country of about 1,350 million inhabitants detected a total of 19.9 million infections.

The mass crematories of victims of COVID-19 are one of the most painful postcards of the crisis in India (Reuters)

The 3,417 new deaths registered in the last 24 hours raised the total number of deaths to 218,959, an official figure that, according to many experts, could actually be higher as crematoriums and cemeteries work non-stop in cities like New Delhi.

Total, ten of the 36 regions of the country, among which is the western Maharashtra, New Delhi, or the southern Karnataka, they account for 73.8% of new daily infections, while the positivity rate stands at 21.2% when just a month ago it was below 6%.


The virulent second wave of the coronavirus put the Indian healthcare system on edge, also causing a lack of medical oxygen that continues to cause deaths.

On the last day, 24 people lost their lives in a public hospital in the southern state of Karnataka that depleted its oxygen reserves. A good part of the patients were receiving medical attention due to the coronavirus.


S. Suresh Kumar, the Karnataka Minister of Education and in charge of the Chamarajanagar district where the incident took place, stated that authorities are investigating these deaths, which caused a wave of outrage in the state.

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For the time being, it was established that two people died during the hours the hospital was without oxygen, when a critical shipment of cylinders from another city was expected.

India has experienced several such events in recent weeks, along with a rise in coronavirus cases that swept all world records. On April 21, at least 22 covid-19 patients died in a hospital in Maharashtra, after a leak from an oxygen tank that affected dozens of patients connected to respirators.


More than 40 countries started sending aid to India to cooperate in the fight against the pandemic, between ventilators and medical equipment, in addition to oxygen generators, cylinders, concentrators and regulators.


In New Delhi, one of the cities hardest hit by the pandemic, several hospitals announced that they will not accept more patients due to lack of oxygen.

“Madhukar Rainbow Children’s Hospital in New Delhi will not accept any admission requiring oxygen or respiratory assistance due to inconsistent liquid oxygen supply,” the medical center said last night on Twitter.

This situation is coupled with the lack of beds in the Indian capital, to the despair of critically ill patients and their families, some of whom were forced to travel from one hospital to another in search of a place.


New Delhi has 5,151 intensive care beds of which, according to the Government of New Delhi, today only 26 remain free.


The Asian country see in the vaccination campaign the great way out of this health crisis, especially after the new phase that began last weekend in which it was extended as beneficiaries to all those over 18 years of age.

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The program began in fits and starts, with the announcement of some regions that they could not start due to lack of doses. New Delhi today gave a boost to the campaign with the opening of hundreds of centers.


”Mass vaccination for the youth of Delhi has started. We have established 301 centers in 76 schools. Our goal is to open 3,000 of these centers in 300 schools, depending on the availability of vaccines, “said the number two of the capital’s government, Manish Sisodia.

The vaccination rate has been slow since the start of the vaccination campaign in January, with a few 157 million doses administered so far.

In the last 24 hours, the country administered just 1.2 million vaccines, one of the lowest numbers recorded in recent weeks.

(With information from EFE)


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