The country has been experiencing an acute oxygen shortage for the past few weeks. People are posting SOS messages in the hopes of receiving timely assistance in saving their friends and family members. However, two coronavirus patients died in Bengaluru’s Arka Hospital in the early hours of May 4 due to a lack of medical oxygen. The hospital had issued an SOS request on May 3 evening and the situation had become severe by 8 p.m. It was too late by the time sufficient assistance arrived at 4 a.m.

In the city, many hospitals have confirmed that they have stopped accepting COVID-19 patients, even though they have beds, due to a lack of oxygen supply. On May 3, 24 patients on ventilators died due to a shortage of oxygen supply at the Chamarajanagar Institute of Medical Sciences (CIMS). In the first wave of infections, there were no Covid-19 cases recorded in Chamarajanagar district, but there have been many deaths in the last few days. On Sunday, the official state bulletin recorded 15 deaths in the region.

Chief Minister BS Yeddiyurappa met with gas manufacturers to discuss the crisis that has gripped Bengaluru and the rest of the state. The Chief Minister instructed six leading oxygen manufacturers to ensure uninterrupted and timely supply of designated quantities of the gas to hospitals. CM Yeddiyurappa advised the manufacturers to transport oxygen using nitrogen and argon tankers and to use the services of LPG tanker drivers in the event of an emergency. The six companies were asked to cut down the time it took to refill their tankers.

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