World India's Oxygen Demand Seven Times Higher Than in April as New COVID Cases Top 412K
Video of Oxygen Tanker Truck With Police Escort in India Shows Dire COVID Situation in Country
"More precious than gold," wrote the correspondent who posted the video as COVID fatalities continue to skyrocket.The video, posted to Twitter by correspondent Yogita Limaye on Sunday, shows a new common theme in India and portrays how highly valued medical oxygen is as hospitals across the country have experienced a widespread shortage with doctors desperately begging for more supplies, according to the Associated Press.
Oxygen demand in India is seven times higher than in April as the country still struggles to combat COVID-19 cases with a total of 412,262 new infections on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.
India is desperately trying to establish large oxygen plants and transport oxygen as most hospitals in the country do not have independent oxygen plants, causing them to rely on liquid oxygen that needs to be transported in cylinders carried by tankers.
The pandemic has exposed a shortage of medical oxygen around the world. So what is it? And why is it lacking?
As photos of people waiting in long lines for oxygen canisters attest, supplies of medical oxygen are far from adequate everywhere in the world. So how did we get here? And what's being done?Difficulty breathing is one of the most common severe COVID-19 symptoms.
On Wednesday, pressure in an oxygen line dropped at the Chengalpet Government Medical College hospital in Tamil Nadu that resulted in the deaths of 11 COVID-19 patients, the Times of India reported. Authorities at the hospital said last week that they had repaired the oxygen pipelines but oxygen consumption has doubled since they worked on it.
About 3,980 new deaths were reported by the Health Ministry, adding to the total of 230,168 that experts believe is actually higher, according to the Associated Press.
"Some global media reports have raised concerns regarding distribution of global aid being sent to India in its fight against #COVID19," India's Health Ministry said in a statement on Thursday. "However, the aid is being effectively & promptly allocated and dispatched to States and UTs by Govt of India."
Why is India facing a deadly crunch of oxygen amid COVID surge?
A look at reasons behind shortage of medical oxygen as India’s underfunded healthcare system struggles.Dire oxygen shortages as India battles a ferocious new wave means boom times for profit gougers, although some young volunteers are doing their best to help people on social media.
Some global media reports have raised concerns regarding distribution of global aid being sent to India in its fight against #COVID19.
However, the aid is being effectively & promptly allocated and dispatched to States and UTs by Govt of India.@PMOIndia— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) May 6, 2021
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
Infections in India hit another grim daily record on Thursday. The government denied reports that it was slow in distributing life-saving supplies from abroad.
The number of new confirmed cases breached 400,000 for the second time since the devastating surge began last month. The 412,262 new cases pushed India's official tally to more than 21 million.
India created a sea bridge on Tuesday to ferry oxygen tankers from Bahrain and Kuwait in the Persian Gulf, officials said.
Amid the surge, supplies in hard-hit places such as New Delhi are running critically short.
Your top questions about India's Covid crisis answered
We put your questions about the severity and handling of the coronavirus crisis in India to experts.Many of you have been sending us questions regarding the current situation and we asked experts inside and outside the BBC to answer them.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said India has enough liquid oxygen but it's facing capacity constraints in moving it. Most oxygen is produced in the eastern parts of India while the demand has risen in northern and western parts.
K. Vijay Raghvan, a principal scientific adviser to the government, said this phase of the pandemic was "a very critical time for the country."
The United States, Britain, Germany and several other nations are rushing therapeutics, rapid virus tests and oxygen, along with materials needed to boost domestic production of COVID-19 vaccines to ease pressure on the fragile health infrastructure.
India's vaccine production is expected to get a boost with the United States supporting a waiver of intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines.
Vaccine components from the U.S. that have arrived in India will enable the manufacturing of 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, said Daniel B. Smith, the senior diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi.
Last month, Adar Poonawalla, chief executive officer of the Serum Institute of India, the world's biggest vaccine maker, appealed to Presidentto lift the embargo on U.S. export of raw materials, which he said was affecting its production of COVID-19 shots.
India is a Covid tragedy - it didn't have to be
Experts tell the BBC that delays in decision-making worsened the crisis of India's second wave.As he spoke, several small hospitals - only a few miles from where he stood in the capital - were sending out desperate messages about them running out of oxygen, putting patients' lives at risk.
The government meanwhile described as "totally misleading" Indian media reports that it took seven days to come up with a procedure for distributing urgent medical supplies that started arriving on April 25.
The statement said a streamlined and systematic mechanism for allocation of the supplies received by India has been put in place for effective distribution. The Indian Red Cross Society is involved in distributing supplies from abroad, it said.
Why India needs oxygen more urgently than vaccines .
The biggest problem may not be the supply itself as much as access to it.Last week, Covid-19 became India’s No. 1 killer. One million people in a country with a population of 1.3 billion are predicted to die of Covid-19 by August. As of May 7, 150 people were reportedly dying every hour, and while 29 million have been fully vaccinated there, vaccines are not what is most urgently needed right now.