O2 refillers assigned but few respond to calls, most ask patients to bring their own cylinder
New Delhi: After multiple rebukes from the Delhi High Court, the Delhi government set up a list of oxygen refillers in the city, who can service Covid patients requiring oxygen support at home. However, the step came too late and many continue to turn to social media for help.
And despite the Delhi government assigning the task of servicing patients in home isolation to 84 oxygen refillers across the city, these refillers are unresponsive and the helplines against them provide no information of use.
In fact, Millennium Post called as many 60 of the 84 oxygen refillers, out of which only six said they have enough oxygen for a refill and one said they would have supplies for a refill only during the day after 10 am. These seven were Mayapuri Oxygen centre, Shivam Gas Traders (West), Gas Associates (Central), Wasim Gas (East, Shaheen bagh), Jain Gas and Naina Gas (North), Shiv Shakti Gases (Central).
More than 45 of the phone numbers listed against the refillers were either unresponsive or simply hung up after one ring.
The North-West district had the maximum refilling stations (Over 30) but of the 20 that Millennium Post reached out to, four picked up and said they had no supplies for a refill and none of the others responded to phone calls throughout Tuesday evening.
Across the South District, which had seven refillers listed by the Delhi government, only one Surgical Specialities in Sant Nagar picked up but said they had no oxygen.
While the website on which this list of refillers is provided is part of Delhi's Corona dashboard and is meant to help people through the process of getting medical oxygen and ancillary equipment, information is scarce on the portal.
In the Central District and the New Delhi district as well, the refilling stations were unresponsive with just one of the nine listed centres in Central Delhi responding.
For instance, against the column that is supposed to display whether each refiller has cylinders available or not and how many, there is no information. Moreover, some information on the portal is also not updated accurately. For example, Sai Gas Traders in South East Delhi was listed as an approved refiller on Tuesday but when asked the refilling centre said they got the approval the same day and will take at least one more day to start supply.
Significantly, all seven refillers who did respond to the call for a refill on Tuesday said they are merely refilling stations and would not be able to provide cylinders.
The Delhi government has set up a separate system wherein people can exchange empty cylinders for filled ones.
But for the time being, these oxygen refillers are able to service only those with their own empty cylinders.