The Dallas Morning News

Leak kills 22 in India

COVID-19 patients on ventilator­s had oxygen supply disrupted

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NEW DELHI — Twentytwo COVID-19 patients on ventilator­s died in a hospital in western India on Wednesday when their oxygen supply was interrupte­d by a leak in a supply line, officials said.

Suraj Mandhar, a district official, said the supply of oxygen has since resumed to other patients.

Fire officer Sanjay Bairagi said the leak was halted by the fire service within 15 minutes, but there was supply disruption in the Zakir Hussain Hospital in Nashik, a city in Maharashtr­a state that is the worst hit by the latest surge in coronaviru­s cases in the country.

Television images showed white fumes spreading in the hospital area, causing panic.

Surinder Sonone, a police officer, said the leak occurred in a pipe connecting the oxygen supply to the main tank in the hospital complex.

Five of the 140 COVID-19 patients were shifted to another hospital, he said.

The state government ordered an investigat­ion of the leak, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said.

India has reported a new record 295,041 coronaviru­s cases, as the daily death toll crossed 2,000 for the first time.

Even with hospitals struggling, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday advised state government­s against imposing a harsh lockdown in favor of micro-containmen­t zones as he sought to avoid another economic slump.

The surge in India has exacerbate­d the slowdown in global vaccinatio­n campaigns. India is a major vaccine producer but was forced to delay deliveries of shots to focus on its domestic demand. So far, India has administer­ed over 130 million doses of vaccines in a nation of nearly 1.4 billion since mid-january.

Overall, India has reported more than 15.6 million confirmed cases, the second highest behind the United States. The number of deaths stood at 182,553.

 ?? The Associated Press ?? A woman cried after learning her husband died when the oxygen supply for his ventilator was interrupte­d by a leak in a supply line in Nashik, in the Indian state of Maharashtr­a, on Wednesday. Officials say the disruption lasted 15 minutes.
The Associated Press A woman cried after learning her husband died when the oxygen supply for his ventilator was interrupte­d by a leak in a supply line in Nashik, in the Indian state of Maharashtr­a, on Wednesday. Officials say the disruption lasted 15 minutes.
 ?? Aijaz Rahi/the Associated Press ?? A worker at a gas supply facility in Bengaluru checked oxygen cylinders before they were delivered to hospitals. India has reported a new record 295,041 coronaviru­s cases as the daily death toll crossed 2,000 for the first time.
Aijaz Rahi/the Associated Press A worker at a gas supply facility in Bengaluru checked oxygen cylinders before they were delivered to hospitals. India has reported a new record 295,041 coronaviru­s cases as the daily death toll crossed 2,000 for the first time.

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