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Shortage of Hospital Beds, Plasma Donors in Delhi Triggers Flurry of SOS Messages on Twitter

Patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) get treatment at the casualty ward in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital, amidst the spread of the disease in New Delhi, India April 15, 2021. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) get treatment at the casualty ward in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital, amidst the spread of the disease in New Delhi, India April 15, 2021. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Some claimed that while the Delhi Corona app showed that beds are available in certain hospitals in the city, the situation on the ground is different. Hospitals are not admitting patients as they have run out of beds, they said.

A man desperate to find a hospital bed for his “extremely weak" 60-year-old mother, another looking for anti-viral drug Remdevisir and a woman looking for a plasma donor for a friend’s uncle fighting for his life — the grim COVID-19 situation in Delhi triggered a flurry of SOS posts on Twitter on Thursday. Some claimed that while the Delhi Corona app showed that beds are available in certain hospitals in the city, the situation on the ground is different. Hospitals are not admitting patients as they have run out of beds, they said.

Many even tagged Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia in their tweets to draw attention to their plight. The Delhi Corona app allows people to check the availability of beds in government and private hospitals in the national capital.

The number of coronavirus cases has exploded in Delhi over the last few days, with the city recording a massive jump of 17,282 fresh infections on Wednesday — the fifth record daily rise in as many days. “URGENT: NEED A HOSPITAL BED IN DELHI FOR MOTHER (AGED 60), SHE IS EXTREMELY WEAK AND WE’RE TRYING FOR A BED BUT NO LUCK. PLEASE HELP," said a tweet posted by a Twitter user with the handle @Massey Erick.

“Any hospitals in #Delhi where beds are available? Asking for a friend. His wife has been calling up hospitals and even though the apps/website show available beds, the hospitals are saying no vacancy," tweeted @vibhurishi. Nishtha Sachdeva wrote, “URGENT: looking for a hospital bed for a senior citizen patient in #Delhi right now. The patient is my relative, and is very critical. #COVID19 @ArvindKejriwal @msisodia Anyone with leads Pls get in touch with me ASAP." These frantic messages for help came a day after the Delhi government released a list of banquet halls, schools and sports complexes attached to different hospitals to increase the number of beds for COVID-19 patients.

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According to the Delhi government’s health bulletin issued on Wednesday, almost 9,300 out of 13,680 hospital beds, including those in Covid Care Centres and Covid Health Centre, are occupied. Some Delhiites complained that the Delhi Corona app did not offer an accurate picture of the ground situation.

“On Delhi corona app, it shows there are 65 beds with ventilator are available, on calling the helpline, they are saying beds are full. A patient admitted in Ansari hospital urgently need a bed with ventilator. O2 at 65 already. Kindly help @CMODelhi @ArvindKejriwal @SatyendarJain," tweeted one Ankit Kumar. Some residents also sought help to find plasma donors and Remdevisir injections.

“VERY URGENT PLASMA NEEDED IN DELHI. PATIENT IS ON OXYGEN SUPPORT. IF YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO RECOVERED FROM COVID, PLEASE ASK THEM. AMPLIFY THIS TWEET," tweeted @_Vanderwall. “Need a plasma donor for a friend’s uncle in Delhi who is admitted in Max Super Speciality Hospital, Patparganj. The donor can be of any blood group but has to be with 4 months after recovering and should have completed 14 days of quarantine after testing negative," wrote another Twitter user, Jahnvi.

“Urgently need #Remdesivir injection in Delhi, can someone please help? @ShaleenMitra bhai @Zebaism @sakshijoshii @KapilChopra72 @drriteshmalik @BDUTT. Six quantity," tweeted Mazhar Khan. Kejriwal had on Tuesday appealed to people who have recovered from coronavirus to come forward to donate plasma to save the lives of other patients.

Plasma therapy involves taking antibodies from the blood of a person who has recovered from COVID-19 and transfusing them into an active coronavirus patient to help kickstart the immune system to fight the infection. Some criticised the Delhi government for its handling of the COVID-19 situation and demanded that a lockdown be imposed before things further worsen.

“Delhi: All non-ventilator ICU beds taken in 24 private and 1 govt hospitals. Sir need for lockdown else situation totally out of control the more we delay the longer curbs," tweeted Sharad. “The situation with #COVID19India is so bad, it seems @ArvindKejriwal has left people of Delhi to die either on the road or at their home. No hospital is admitting patients. All beds full. No ICU beds but only place where beds are available is Delhi Government portal. @LtGovDelhi," posted Nishant Verma.

“Lockdown 2 is need of the hour. Delhi govt is blind can’t see the number of cases rising and the death toll Delhi is facing. 14 days lockdown won’t be more costly than a hospital bed, taking medicines and risking life with Covid 19. @AamAadmiParty #COVID19," tweeted Anurag Gautam. The total number of COVID-19 cases in Delhi stood at 7,67,438 on Wednesday. With 104 more fatalities, the death toll climbed to 11,540, the government bulletin said.

The number of people under home isolation increased to 24,155 from 21,954 on Tuesday, while that of containment zones went up to 7,598 from 6,852 the day before, it said.

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first published:April 15, 2021, 19:25 IST