The 200-bed Narayana Super Specialty Hospital in east Delhi has 62 Covid-19 patients at present, of which 18 are on ventilator support
NEW DELHI: Covid-19 management in Delhi and NCR has been seriously hampered by the unavailability of medical oxygen. Like other hospitals, Narayana Super Specialty Hospital in East Delhi was also battling the crisis.
But then suddenly, last week, they received an email from the French embassy offering to donate an oxygen generator. The mail said they wanted to send one to Narayana Healthcare — the private hospital chain that runs the hospital — for their Bangalore facility. But, the hospital says, it wrote back to them requesting that the generator be sent to the Delhi facility as the oxygen crisis was claiming lives there.
In normal circumstances, the approval and installation process would have taken months, but due to the seriousness with which the French government was responding to the crisis, the generator was dispatched within a day.
It arrived at the Delhi airport around 6.30am on Sunday and it took another three hours for the generator units to be handed over. In the meantime, Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, chairman of Narayana Health, said the hospital team had already got the site for installation of the generator ready.
“By 8.30pm, the oxygen generator plant was installed. And, at 9.30pm, we had started the trial run. In another three hours, the oxygen generation plant became fully operational and started producing oxygen for the hospital,” said Commander Navneet Bali, regional director of Narayana Health.
He added that the generator donated by the French government can fill 48 cylinders weighing 40 litres to 60 litres each in 24 hours. “This would give us the much-required elbow room to tide over the crisis caused by delay in supply of cylinders from regular channels and we can think of adding more oxygen beds,” Bali said.
The 200-bed hospital has 62 Covid-19 patients at present of which 18 are on ventilator support. The hospital said they require 13 lakh litres of oxygen daily. “We don’t have an oxygen tank. Till now, our daily demand was met mainly by the two existing generators that could fill 80 D-type cylinders daily. For any extra requirement, we were dependent on suppliers from neighbouring areas,” the hospital said. “The oxygen generator was made operational in less than 18 hours of landing at the airport and within 12 hours of reaching the hospital. This generator will help save and sustain more lives every day,” Dr Shetty said.
BLK Super Specialty in central Delhi has also received one oxygen generator from the French government. Some public hospitals have also received these generators. Many foreign countries have also donated oxygen concentrators to help India tide over the current oxygen crisis. “We have received more than 100 oxygen concentrators in foreign aid,” said a doctor at Lady Hardinge Medical College.