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4 hr 48 min ago
This is what it's like trying to get oxygen in India
From CNN's Janelle Davis
As India’s Covid-19 crisis spreads, oxygen has become one of the scarcest commodities.
In New Delhi, CNN’s Clarissa Ward met with people waiting for hours to get oxygen for their family members. It is in such short supply that the line went around the block. Some people told CNN they’re been waiting for 25 hours and still have not received oxygen.
Some people are taking shifts waiting in line. Once they get to the front of the line, there is absolutely no guarantee that they’ll be able to get any oxygen because the demand is so high, and the supply is so low.
One 22-year-old told CNN he's been waiting for five hours to get oxygen for his sick grandparents. He said, if he can’t get any oxygen, he’ll have faith on God. “It’s a very hard situation for everyone who is facing this Covid-19 situation,” he said. “I’m trying to be calm here because I’ve been waiting since 9 and this line is not even moving.”
Volunteers gave water to people standing in line. "It's the first time I've seen this situation in my lifetime," said one volunteer. "This makes us very upset."
India's government says it’s trying to address this problem. It has started a program called Oxygen Express, trying to deploy liquid oxygen on India’s railways to cities that need it the most. New Delhi is not seeing the impact of those efforts yet.
On the ground, Ward said she is seeing a growing sense of anger, frustration and desperation. International aid began arriving on Tuesday, with countries around the world sending oxygen cylinders, ventilators, medication and other essential supplies. But these supplies need time to be distributed and oxygen plants need to be built. For some of the hardest-hit cities, such as New Delhi, the lack of immediate help and accessible resources means the bodies will keep piling up until assistance arrives.