India scrambles for oxygen supply and sets another tough record

New Delhi (AP) —Infectious diseases in India set another tough daily record on Thursday as demand for medical oxygen surged seven-fold and the government denied reports of slow distribution of life-saving supplies from abroad. I did.

Since the catastrophic surge began last month, the number of newly confirmed cases has exceeded 400,000 for the second time. With 412,262 proceedings, India’s total exceeds 21 million. The Ministry of Health has also reported 3,980 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 230,168. Experts believe that both numbers are underestimated.

Eleven COVID-19 patients died on Wednesday night after a sudden drop in oxygen line pressure at a government medical college hospital in Chengalpet Town, southern India, according to the Times of India.

Hospital officials said they had repaired the pipeline last week, but oxygen consumption has doubled since then, Daily said.

Hospital oxygen demand has increased seven-fold since last month as India installs a large oxygen plant and scrambles to transport cryogenic tankers, cylinders and liquid oxygen, government officials said. It was. India built a sea bridge to transport oxygen tankers from Bahrain and Kuwait in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday, officials said.

Most hospitals in India are not equipped with a separate plant that produces oxygen directly for patients. As a result, hospitals typically rely on liquid oxygen, which can be stored in cylinders and transported by cryogenic tankers. However, in the midst of the surge, supply is very scarce in hit areas like New Delhi.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said India has enough liquid oxygen, but faces constraints on its ability to move it. Most oxygen is produced in the eastern part of India, but demand is increasing in the northern and western parts.

K. Vijay Raghvan, the government’s chief scientific adviser, said this stage of the pandemic was “a very important time for the country.”

In the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and several other countries, treatment, rapid viral testing, along with the materials needed to promote domestic production of the COVID-19 vaccine to relieve pressure on fragile health infrastructure. , And rushing oxygen.

Vaccine production in India is expected to be boosted by the United States in support of the abandonment of intellectual property protection for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Daniel B. Smith, the senior diplomat at the Embassy of New Delhi, said the vaccine component from the United States, which arrived in India, would enable the production of 20 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine.

Last month, Adar Punawara, CEO of the Indian Serum Institute, the world’s largest vaccine maker, urged President Joe Biden to lift the embargo on US raw material exports. 19 shots.

Meanwhile, the Indian media, which the government said was “totally misleading,” reported that it took seven days to devise a procedure for distributing emergency medicines that began arriving on April 25.

It is a sad statement that a streamlined systematic mechanism for the distribution of goods received by India has been put in place for effective distribution. The Indian Red Cross said it was involved in the distribution of supplies from abroad.