At least 12 patients, including a doctor, died when a prominent hospital ran out of oxygen on Saturday.
Outside hospitals, families of patients who can’t find a bed are struggling to get hold of portable cylinders – sometimes standing in queues for up to 12 hours.
India has so far recorded more than 18.8 million COVID-19 cases, with deaths topping 200,000 in the past week — with new infection cases surpassing 400,000.
According to the BBC, Several big hospitals in Delhi are relying on daily oxygen supplies but they are not getting enough to keep some as backup in case of emergency.
One doctor described the situation as frightening, explaining: “Once you’ve used up your main tank, there is nothing to fall back on.”
And the oxygen crisis comes as coronavirus cases continue to surge.
Delhi alone reported more than 20,000 new infections and 407 deaths on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Uganda has suspended all flights coming into the country from India after recording new variants of the coronavirus, including the COVID-19 variant from India.
The ban began Saturday at midnight.
The new directive follows the Ministry of Health researchers detecting one case of the coronavirus disease, an Indian variant, in the East African country.
Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said: “All passenger flights between Uganda and India are suspended until further notice,” she said. “No travelers from India shall be allowed into Uganda, regardless of the route of travel.”
Aceng stressed that all travelers who may have been in India or traveled through India in the last 14 days, regardless of route taken, will not be allowed into Uganda.
UK sends oxygen factories to support India
Last week, he UK sent further vital oxygen equipment to India in support of the country’s fight against COVID-19.
The oxygen units are each capable of producing 500 litres of oxygen per minute, enough for 50 people to use at a time. Oxygen is one of the main needs of India’s healthcare system.
This follows the UK’s recent action to support India, with 495 oxygen concentrators and 200 ventilators sent from surplus stocks. The first batch of these medical supplies arrived in Delhi around 01:00 local time on Tuesday 27 April, with the rest due to arrive in Delhi by Friday. The equipment will all then be transferred to Indian hospitals.