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In pictures: Oxygen demand outstrips supply in virus hotspots as India battles Covid surge

After having largely tamed the virus last year, India is in the throes of the world's worst coronavirus surge.
Published 24 Apr, 2021 10:56pm

India's medical oxygen shortage has become so dire that a Sikh house of worship began offering free breathing sessions with shared tanks to Covid-19 patients waiting for a hospital bed.

They arrive in their cars, on foot or in three-wheeled taxis, desperate for a mask and tube attached to the precious oxygen tanks outside the gurdwara in a neighborhood outside the capital, New Delhi.

After having largely tamed the virus last year, India is in the throes of the world's worst coronavirus surge and many of the country's hospitals are struggling to cope with shortages of beds, medicines and oxygen.

Scores have died in hospitals in India's capital amid suggestions that low oxygen supplies were to blame.

Doctors have taken to social media to beg public authorities to get them resupplied, and the government has mobilised to bring oxygen supplies by train, plane and truck.

A patient receives oxygen inside a car provided by a Gurdwara, a Sikh place of worship, in New Delhi on April 24. — AP
A patient receives oxygen inside a car provided by a Gurdwara, a Sikh place of worship, in New Delhi on April 24. — AP

A Covid-19 patient breathes with the help of an oxygen mask and waits inside an auto rickshaw to be attended to and admitted to a dedicated coronavirus government hospital in Ahmedabad on April 17. — AP
A Covid-19 patient breathes with the help of an oxygen mask and waits inside an auto rickshaw to be attended to and admitted to a dedicated coronavirus government hospital in Ahmedabad on April 17. — AP

Ambulances carrying Covid-19 patients line up waiting for their turn to be attended to at a dedicated Covid-19 government hospital in Ahmedabad on April 22. — AP
Ambulances carrying Covid-19 patients line up waiting for their turn to be attended to at a dedicated Covid-19 government hospital in Ahmedabad on April 22. — AP

A Covid-19 patient sits inside a car and breathes with the help of oxygen provided by a Gurdwara, a Sikh house of worship, in New Delhi on April 24. — AP
A Covid-19 patient sits inside a car and breathes with the help of oxygen provided by a Gurdwara, a Sikh house of worship, in New Delhi on April 24. — AP

A Covid-19 patient breathes with the help of an oxygen mask as he waits inside an auto rickshaw to be attended to and admitted in a dedicated Covid-19 government hospital in Ahmedabad on April 22. — AP
A Covid-19 patient breathes with the help of an oxygen mask as he waits inside an auto rickshaw to be attended to and admitted in a dedicated Covid-19 government hospital in Ahmedabad on April 22. — AP

People stand in queues to refill oxygen in cylinders in New Delhi on April 23. — AP
People stand in queues to refill oxygen in cylinders in New Delhi on April 23. — AP

A Covid-19 patient receives oxygen inside a car provided by a Gurdwara, a Sikh house of worship, in New Delhi on April 24. — AP
A Covid-19 patient receives oxygen inside a car provided by a Gurdwara, a Sikh house of worship, in New Delhi on April 24. — AP

A worker refills medical oxygen cylinders at a charging station on the outskirts of Prayagraj on April 23. — AP
A worker refills medical oxygen cylinders at a charging station on the outskirts of Prayagraj on April 23. — AP

A patient receives oxygen outside a Gurdwara, a Sikh house of worship, in New Delhi on April 24. — AP
A patient receives oxygen outside a Gurdwara, a Sikh house of worship, in New Delhi on April 24. — AP


Header image: A worker of a wholesale supplier unloads medical oxygen cylinders from a truck that are to be transported to hospitals in New Delhi on April 24. — AFP