The Indian city of Gujarat’s western state of Surat is running out of oxygen fast, Hiralal Shah, a senior doctor in the city, told the BCCI on Tuesday.
“There are about 4,000 patients in the city who need oxygen,” said Shah, president of the Indian Medical Association in Surat.
“If the supply has not increased, we fear it may cause deaths,” he said.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) in Surat on Monday appealed to the Chief Minister of Gujarat to increase the supply of oxygen in the city. Shah said that on Tuesday he held a meeting with the city’s administrative officials to resolve the crisis.
“If oxygen supply is not regularly restored within the next 12 hours, private Kovid hospitals will be forced to treat patients,” the IMA said in the letter on Monday.
Since then, about 30% of the total oxygen supply has been restored to the city, according to Shah.
With 230 metric tons of oxygen required in Surat, Shah said that most of its supplies come from the Jamnagar district of Gujarat, which is more than 330 miles from Surat.
“The problem is transportation – it doesn’t reach the city on time,” Shah explained, adding that if the situation persists, hospitals need to stop taking in patients.
In Ahmedabad, another city in Gujarat, small hospitals are struggling to buy enough oxygen for their patients who were quickly taking a critical turn, while larger, corporate hospitals still have enough oxygen for their patients.
Ahmedabad Medical Association chairperson Mona Desai said:
“Patients are losing their lives because … they are not admitted to ICU, they are waiting in ambulances, waiting to be admitted, are not admitted in ICU in any private hospitals .. . Things are bad, really bad. Now doctors we feel helpless and hopeless, we want to help but we are helpless. “
According to the Indian Ministry of Health, there were 510,373 cases of coronovirus and 6,486 deaths in the state of Gujarat on Tuesday.
However, according to Desai, the death toll in the state is “much higher” than officially stated.