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punjab: In second Covid wave, 4 died due to oxygen shortage in Punjab | Chandigarh News



CHANDIGARH: The second Covid-19 wave saw four deaths due to lack of oxygen in a private hospital in Amritsar district of Punjab. This data, which was sought by the Centre from the states, was tabled in Lok Sabha on Friday.
Punjab was one of the worst-hit by the second wave and witnessed a record number of cases and deaths. The heavy caseload had pushed the daily demand for medical oxygen to about 350 MT, resulting in an acute shortage of live-saving oxygen. According to a report compiled by the Punjab government, it encountered the first biggest challenge of Covid crisis management when Guru Nanak Dev Hospital (GNDH), the biggest Covid tertiary care centre in the district, faced an oxygen crisis on the night of April 23, putting lives of 46 Covid patients at risk. Similarly, on the night of May 12, two more hospitals in Amritsar faced the same situation.

The supply was crippled due to the absence of a technical expert for performing decanting from tank to tanker. Jalandhar commissionerate police had to toil hard to locate a technical expert and managed to establish contact at around 2.45 am and he was asked to decant oxygen from tank to tanker and 5 MT liquid oxygen was dispatched to the two hospitals.
Preventive measures
To avoid a repeat of the crisis, the state government has augmented medical oxygen to meet projected demand to ensure that there is no shortage in the event of a third wave. Hospitals with more than 50 beds have installed pressure swing adsorption oxygen generating plants. A total of 41 such plants have been installed through the central government and another 37 plants through donations in the medical colleges and government healthcare facilities. The medical gas pipeline system has been laid in all the district hospitals and subdivisional hospitals (SHD) of the state. Besides that, a liquid medical oxygen plant (LMO) of 146 MT capacity is being set up in the Fatehgarh Sahib district. About 10,000 concentrators have also been distributed to primary health centres, community health centres and Covid care centres.
Old deaths
Punjab has added over 300 old deaths that went unreported at that time. The health department is in the process of carrying out a reconciliation exercise. In many cases, the treatment outcome earlier recorded as discharged was later changed to death.

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