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Hospitals in Bhaktapur grappling without oxygen

The hospital has six ventilators, five intensive care units, 14 high care units and 18 emergency units. The hospital’s situation reached the stage that mayor Shrestha on Tuesday stepped in to collect oxygen cylinders to save lives of 18 coronavirus patients.
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Ramesh Giri, BHAKTAPUR: Various hospitals in Bhaktapur district are struggling to save lives of Covid-19 patients without oxygen. In many cases, Covid-19 patients need oxygen support in treatment process. Many hospitals in the district have been flooded with the patients following the second wave of the infection. Without oxygen, many hospitals have refused to admit coronavirus patients.
Bhaktapur Hospital is struggling without oxygen since Thursday night. The supply is yet to be made despite informing about the matter to the Covid-19 Crisis Management Centre (CCMC), the Ministry of Health and the respective province ministry, said the hospital medical superintendent Dr Sumitra Gautam.
Sagarmatha Oxygen Company had been supplying oxygen to the hospital. The hospital got the supply from Janakpur after the Company lacks oxygen. But there is a scarcity of oxygen in Janakpur too and it takes at least two days for the supply to arrive here, thus making the matter worse, said Gautam. Negligence is the CCMC is to blame for the situation. The CCMC has removed the hospital from the recommendation list for oxygen citing the hospital is provincial level, thus creating the problem, said the hospital administration. At present, the hospital is providing treatment to 70 Covid-19 patients. It has consumed 200 oxygen cylinders in 24 hours as all coronavirus patients need oxygen support, said Gautam. “We started receiving the supply from Janakpur after the Kathmandu Valley lacks oxygen. However, there is also a lack of oxygen in Janakpur too. The government has asked hospital to run a 70-bed high care unit for coronavirus patients. But there is a lack of oxygen. How can we admit new patients in such situation?.” “The hospital lacks oxygen. All patients need oxygen support. Lives of patients are at risk. The hospital cannot take responsibility in case of any untoward incident.” The provision that the CCMC’s recommendation is needed for oxygen has added to the problem of the hospital, she said.
Nepal-Korea Friendship Municipality Hospital run by Madyapurthimi Municipality also lacks oxygen. The hospital has used 70 oxygen cylinders on a daily basis. However, the CCMC has recommended a Kavrepalanchok-based oxygen plant to provide only 10 cylinders to the hospital, thus making the matter worse, said the municipality mayor Madan Sundar Shrestha.
The hospital has six ventilators, five intensive care units, 14 high care units and 18 emergency units. The hospital’s situation reached the stage that mayor Shrestha on Tuesday stepped in to collect oxygen cylinders to save lives of 18 coronavirus patients. He managed the oxygen cylinders from the oxygen plant in Kavrepalanchok after his calls to the CCMC, the Health Ministry, Teku Hospital and various oxygen companies for the same went in vain, said Shrestha. “Fifteen more beds have been added to the hospital following increasing flow of Covid-19 patients. However, these beds have yet to come into operation without oxygen. There is not a situation wherein to admit new patients,” he said. To ease the matter, the hospital would soon set up an oxygen plant, he said. Bhaktapur Hospital is struggling without oxygen and many private hospitals are on the verge of a closure as a result, said Krishna Prasad Mijar, chief of the health office, Bhaktapur.
Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu lacks oxygen risking patients’ lives, said Manohar Shrestha, relative of a patient admitted to the hospital. “Doctors at the hospital burst into tears telling that the hospital lacks oxygen. So it is difficult to save lives of patients. We cannot admit new patients in such situation,” he said quoting doctors. The Kathmandu Valley has needed 15,000 liters oxygen on a daily basis against the supply of only 7,000 liters, according to available data. Some days ago, two Covid-19 patients died at Bhaktapur International Hospital apparently due to lack of oxygen.
As a result, the hospital and other Madyapur Hospital, Nagarik Community Hospital, Summit Hospital, Dr Iwamura Memorial Hospital and Siddhi Memorial Hospital have decided not to admit coronavirus patients.

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