Published on April 23, 2021

AHMEDABAD: A mid-sized Covid hospital in eastern city parts on Tuesday night sent an SOS to a group of hospital owners and administrators. “We have oxygen that can only last for the next 40 minutes. We have 20 patients. Need your support,” read the message. Five nearby hospitals spared one or two cylinders each, saving the night.

What was once a rare request has become a norm with hospitals struggling to keep the hypoxic Covid-19 patients breathing in the current spike as they struggle with a persistent scarcity of oxygen. Such is the desperation that many small hospitals have started requesting patients’ relatives to arrange for oxygen supply if they can. Thus, after the medicines, the relatives are also seen scurrying for oxygen in the city, arranging for cylinders if they can pull the right strings.

“We do our best to arrange for the 40 cylinders we need for our patients daily. With exponential rise in demand, we do reach out to patients’ relatives if they can aid any oxygen arrangement. Some trusts are also providing oxygen to patients,” said Dr Rohit Joshi, chairman of Aarna Hospital.

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