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Despite an improvement in oxygen supply & bed availability, Lucknowites still stranded for help

Though the situation has considerably improved in past 15 days, the issue of adequacy of the measures put in force still persists.

The fourth week of March heralded the arrival of the second wave of Coronavirus in Lucknow and now that it has been 3-4 weeks, we can expect more recoveries in the upcoming weeks. In the last 24 hours alone, 5960 patients have been discharged post their recovery, which is the direct result of the efforts put in by the medical fraternity and the state government to manage this crisis. However, this light at the end of a dark tunnel seems to be lacking in warmth! So, even though the situation has considerably improved in the past 15 days, the conundrum of the adequacy of the measures put in force still persists.

Breathing made easier, 'Oxygen Operation' to the rescue

The supply of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) received via the Oxygen Express has played a crucial role in providing relief to COVID-19 infected individuals, whether hospitalised or under home isolation. Since its arrival, the distribution and availability of LMO have improved considerably for city hospitals' supplies have been replenished. Consequently, the number of hospital beds with oxygen available in Lucknow have also increased in number.

DRDO's makeshift hospitals to ease current scenario

To curb the rapid inflation in the number of covid cases in Lucknow, DRDO is establishing makeshift hospitals at Haj House and Awadh Shilpgram. The self-sustainable oxygen supply technology installed at Awadh Shipgram has been worked along the lines of that available in a fighter pilot jet. Other than catering to the critical covid patients, this technology will assist in easier refilling of oxygen cylinders and resolving logistical issues pertaining to the transportation of cylinders.

Pooling resources online for better access

A website has been prepared by UP's Directorate of Medical and Health Services to act as a one-stop centre to access information regarding the availability of beds in hospitals required for infected patients who are isolating at home. The website is ready and it is expected that in the next couple of days, all hospitals will upload their data on this platform, thereby, making the process of finding a hospital bed in Lucknow easier.

Golden rule of testing, tracing and treating

Adopting the most effective strategy of countering coronavirus infection, the state government has rapidly increased the number of RTPCR tests being conducted. As per latest reports, 1,84,144 samples were tested in the state on Monday, taking the tally of total samples tested across Uttar Pradesh to 4,01,41,354.

Despite all this, Lucknowites are still grappling

Pawan Kaushal

Despite the apparent silver lining in the cloud, currently, Lucknow residents are scrambling to find proper medical resources and facilities that can help in combating this deadly virus. We are receiving SOS messages on a daily basis from patients and their kin that only go on to highlight the reality of the preceding statement.

Even though more samples are being tested now, more oxygen cylinders and other medical resources are available, the current situation seems far from aqeduate. In the past 24 hours, Lucknow has registered 4435 new cases which keep the tally of new infection quite high in the city.

Pawan Kaushal

Further, one has to stand in queue for almost 12 to 18 hours outside oxygen plants, such as Ketee Welding Store located in Chinhat Industrial Area, and still there is no guarantee of supply. The variable cost of refilling oxygen cylinders, ranging between 300 to 500 for small cylinders and 500 to 700 for big cylinders, adds to the list of woes of Lucknowites.

Anshul Dixit from Bhootnath narrated his plight to Knocksense and stated, "My father is extremely ill and currently under home isolation. The oxygen cylinder we bought 3 days ago needs refilling for now his oxygen level has dipped to 50. We can't admit him to a private hospital as we don't have enough money and everyone knows that government hospitals don't have available beds."

Our suggestions to mitigate the current scenario

Urgent collective action is necessary to combat this situation and individuals need to step up to handle the current catacylsm. We have come up with a few suggestions that shall help in bettering the current situation, for all stakeholders involved. The most important step would be to open additional refill points in the city and improve the supply of oxygen canisters and concentrators to further ease out the situation.

Secondly, the state government should start a helpline that can answer FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), such as- how to get food in isolation, home delivery of medicines, oxygen support, bed availability and more. This will weed out ignorance regarding the basic necessities and help in avoiding panic and alarm among citizens.

Further, saving lives is more important than politics and that's why social media should rise above it and serve its true purpose of aiding humanity in its gravest of times, yet. It is also important to understand that the government is addressing the oxygen crisis so, people should avoid creating mass hysteria and people should post only varied SOS messages.

Last but not the least, we are looking for volunteers who can help us gain verified information regarding the hospitals located nearby with respect to the availability of hospital beds, oxygen, medicines and other important things. We shall amplify these details so that the maximum number of people can benefit and more lives can be saved. This is a humanitarian crisis and we all need to work together to make it through this pandemic. You may register here-

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