India is grappling with an oxygen crisis as it tries to fight the second wave of COVID-19 which saw the country report the highest single-day positive cases today since the pandemic outbreak.
Several small hospitals in Delhi struggled to replenish the oxygen supply for coronavirus patients on Thursday morning, even as some big healthcare facilities received fresh stock overnight.
Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Dr Priya Sampathkumar, Epidemiologist & Chair - Infection Control at Mayo Clinic explained one of the key questions being asked -- the difference between oxygen concentrator and oxygen cylinder.
“Oxygen concentrator is something intended for use at home. It actually generates oxygen on-site. It literally does what it says – concentrate; take the ambient air and make that into oxygen that an individual can be supplied with. It is not something that is viable in hospitals; it is really meant for home use,” she said.
“Oxygen cylinder gives you a finite amount. When the cylinder is empty, it’s empty. Whereas in the oxygen concentrator, it is pulling from the air. So it can provide you with a consistent supply of oxygen,” she explained.
The Delhi High Court had on Wednesday night ordered the Centre to "forthwith" provide oxygen by whatever means to hospitals here facing a shortage of the gas in treating serious COVID19 patients, observing it "seems human life is not important for the state".