Disruption in oxygen supply kills 22 in Indian hospital

Published April 21, 2021
A worker checks oxygen cylinders before they are delivered to different hospitals at a gas supplier facility in Bengaluru, India on Wednesday. — AP
A worker checks oxygen cylinders before they are delivered to different hospitals at a gas supplier facility in Bengaluru, India on Wednesday. — AP

A local administrator in western India said on Wednesday that 22 patients died in a hospital when their oxygen supply was interrupted by leakage in a supply tank.

Suraj Mandhar, the district collector, said the oxygen supply has since been resumed to other patients.

Fire officer Sanjay Bairagi said the leakage was plugged by the fire service within 15 minutes, but there was supply disruption in the Zakir Hussain Hospital in Nashik, a city in Maharashtra state that is the worst-hit by the latest surge in coronavirus cases in the country.

Television images showed white fumes spreading in the hospital area, causing panic.

More than 170 patients were on oxygen in the hospital, according to local media.

Country's Covid surge hits new record

Meanwhile, India's brutal new Covid outbreak set records on Wednesday with more than 2,000 deaths in 24 hours as hospitals in New Delhi ran perilously low on oxygen.

India has been in the grips of a second wave of infections blamed on lax government rules and a new “double mutant” virus variant, adding almost 3.5 million new cases this month alone.

Read: India's crematoriums buckle as Covid dead pile up

Health ministry data on Wednesday showed a record 2,023 fatalities and 295,000 new cases in 24 hours, among the world's biggest daily case totals and on a par with numbers seen in the United States during a deadly surge in January.

In an address to the nation on Tuesday night, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the country of 1.3 billion people was “once again fighting a big fight”.

“The situation was under control till a few weeks back, and then this second corona wave came like a storm,” he said.

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