NEW DELHI (AP) – Dr. Gautam Singh dreads the daily advent of the ventilator beeps, signaling that oxygen levels are critically low, and hearing his critically ill patients start gasping for air in the New Delhi emergency ward where he works.
Like other doctors across the country, which on Monday set another record for new coronavirus infections for a fifth day in a row at more than 350,000, the cardiologist has taken to begging and borrowing cylinders of oxygen just to keep his most critical patients alive for one more day.
Municipal workers prepare to bury the body of a person who died of COVID-19 in Gauhati, India, Sunday, April 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)
On Sunday evening, when the oxygen supplies of other nearby hospitals were also near empty, the desperate 43-year-old took to social media, posting an impassioned video plea on Twitter.
COVID treatment has improved, but many wish for an easy pill.
If Priscila Medina had gotten COVID-19 a year ago, she would have had no treatments proven safe and effective to try.
But when the 30-year-old nurse arrived at a Long Island hospital last month, so short of breath she could barely talk, doctors knew just what to do.
They quickly arranged for her to get a novel drug that supplies virus-blocking antibodies, and “by the next day I was able to get up and move around,” she said. After two days, “I really started turning the corner. I was showering, eating, playing with my son.” Treatments like these can help newly diagnosed patients avoid hospitalization, but they are grossly underused because they require an IV.