Hyderabad: Hyderabad city and the rest of Telangana are facing a serious crisis of oxygen supply in hospitals with doctors in different hospitals admitting that they fear running out of supplies as the hospitals are increasingly witnessing a steady stream of Covid-19 patients requiring to be put on supplementary oxygen.
The current daily requirement of medical oxygen in the state is 384 tonnes, but the state was getting just between 260 and 270 metric tonnes, leaving a shortfall of around 120 metric tonnes a day.
Even in hospitals that have liquid oxygen tanks, the situation is not good as the internal supply systems are getting overwhelmed by the hundreds of patients requiring to be put on oxygen. According to sources, the situation in the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences is beginning to cause concern as patients being accommodated in upper floors are not receiving oxygen under the pressures required. “As we go up each floor, the pressures in the piping system is dropping, the pressure is only good on the ground floor and to some extent on the first floor,” the sources said.
The situation was dire enough to prompt health minister Etala Rajendar to squarely hold the Central government responsible for the emerging crisis saying that the Centre was controlling oxygen supplies to states. “Since we do not manufacture oxygen, we have to depend on supplies from Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Bellary in Karnataka. The Centre allocated oxygen for Telangana from a plant 1,300 km away in Odisha. Another 35 tonnes was okayed for supply from Perumbudur in Tamil Nadu but that state said nothing doing, we are not giving oxygen to anyone,” he told a news conference.
“If Telangana ends up facing oxygen shortages, the responsibility for this will lie squarely with the Centre,” Rajendar said.
Meanwhile, most hospitals in the city reported that they were out of oxygen beds including some run by the government. Doctors at some private hospitals said they were somehow managing for the time being but were unsure how long they could continue as they were facing supply problems with shortage of tankers, as well as other oxygen tanks typically used in such facilities that do not have their own liquid oxygen storage facilities.