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BIG STORY                                                                    APRIL 23, 2021  |    The Indian Eye                          8

          cOvid-19: cOlOssal failure

              TOO many paTienTs,

               TOO liTTle Oxygen

          Families run around to procure the precious gas. The government steps in but it is too

                   little and too late. A look at India’s oxygen crisis and an impending disaster

                                                                                                                          The Railways said it trans-
        Our Bureau
                                                                                                                      ported essential commodities
        New Delhi                                                                                                     and kept the supply chain intact

            ndia is gasping for air and                                                                               even during the lockdown last
                                                                                                                      year and continued to serve the
            there is not enough oxygen.                                                                               nation in times of emergencies.
        IReports of distress are com-                                                                                 The green corridors are helping
        ing from all across the country.
            In New Delhi, a possible cri-                                                                             in fast movement of Oxygen Ex-
        sis was averted at Holy Family                                                                                press.
                                                                                                                          The  story  of  despair is the
        Hospital in the national capi-                                                                                same in other states.  In view
        tal on Friday when an emer-                                                                                   of the increasing demand for
        gency supply of liquid oxygen,                                                                                medical oxygen amid rising
        arranged by the Delhi govern-
        ment reached the hospital, with                                                                               COVID-19 cases,  the Oxygen
        only half an hour of reserve re-                                                                              Management Group appointed
        maining.                                                                                                      by the Rajasthan government
                                                                                                                      added 17  more  tankers and
            Thanking the media and                                                                                    32,000 cylinders to bridge the
        Chief Minister Arvind Kejriw-                                                                                 gap.
        al-led government, Dr Sumit                                                                                       Chief Minister Ashok Ge-
        Ray, medical superintendent
        of Holy Family Hospital said                                                                                  hlot has also been directly moni-
        the healthcare system needs an                                                                                toring the oxygen supply scenar-
        improvement as logistics can-                                                                                 io along with the management of
                                                                                                                      the COVID-19 situation. “The
        not be organised by individual                                                                                government has also established
        hospital, and they have to be ar-                                                                             24 hours control rooms at State
        ranged by state and central forc-            A staff of Sir ganga Ram Hospital shows a letter written to      level as well as district levels to
        es combined.                         DS Rana Chairman to provide oxygen cylinders amid the rise in COVID-19
            In  the  financial  capital                        cases, in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI)                   ensure  efficient  management
        Mumbai, the Bombay High                                                                                       of oxygen. Rajasthan has been
                                                                                                                      able to avoid scarcity of oxygen
        Court has taken suo motu cog- incident,” said Nashik Mayor  Oxygen Express, which departed                    to healthcare services helping
        nisance  of  the Nashik Oxygen  Satish Kulkarni.                         from Visakhapatnam yesterday,        them to effectively control the
        leak incident in which 24 people        Maharashtra Health Min- reached  Nagpur  Junction rail-               mortality rate and recovery pe-
        lost their lives. The court has  ister Rajesh Tope said that the  way station with seven oxygen
        asked the  state government to  situation is under control now.          tankers on Friday. The Railways      riod,” the release said.
        file a reply on it. As many as 24       Maharashtra Food and Drug  said in a release that the Oxygen              The situation has become so
        people died in the oxygen tank- Administration (FDA) Minister  Express reached Nagpur at 8.10                 drastic  that Union Home Sec-
                                                                                                                      retary Ajay Bhalla has written
        er leakage incident at Dr Zakir  Rajendra  Shingane said,  “It  is  pm today. “Three tankers will             to all states and UTs to provide
        Hussain Hospital in Maharash- an unfortunate incident. We are  be unloaded at Nagpur station                  adequate security to vehicles
        tra’s Nashik district on Wednes- trying to get a detailed report.  and the remaining will be un-              transporting Oxygen and also
        day.                                 We have ordered an enquiry as  loaded at Nasik Road station in
            “Death toll rises to 24. There  well. Anyone found responsible  Maharashtra. Oxygen Express               provide  corridors  for  quick
        was no negligence by the Cor- will not be spared.”                       is expected to reach Nasik Road      transportation of Oxygen to
        poration. A high-level commit-          Meanwhile, the country’s  station in the morning tomor-               hospitals.
        tee has been set up to probe the  first Roll On Roll Off (RORO)  row,” it said.                                  Continued on next page... >>

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