Free service at a parking lot in Noida has been assisting around 15 people daily

A free, drive-thru ‘oxygen langar’ at a parking lot in Noida is literally breathing life into COVID patients with dangerously fluctuating oxygen levels. They are given assistance till such time as their families manage to arrange liquid oxygen or get a hospital bed on their own.

The langar, which started functioning on May 6, has assisted at least 15 patients daily in getting their oxygen levels boosted. It was set up at the multilevel parking behind the Botanical Garden metro station in the heart of Gautam Buddha Nagar district by the management of Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, NGO Khalsa Aid and the district administration.

The facility has 14 oxygen concentrators, with more expected over the coming days, as well as oxygen cylinders for emergency cases.

The service is available for patients with an oxygen level till 80. “Relatives can drive up with patients in their vehicles whenever they need oxygen on a first-come-first-serve basis. They can either receive support in their vehicles or on beds along with assistance from paramedical staff till their oxygen level is up to 95,” said Lt. Colonel Surjeet Singh (retired), who is part of the initiative.

“There are times when some patients with oxygen levels below 80 also turn up and we attend to them on a humanitarian basis, however, we do advise anyone with an oxygen level below 80 to go to a hospital. In the meantime, we are getting cylinders from the administration to tend to such emergency cases,” he added.

Food service

Bhai Gurdeep Singh, head granthi of the gurdwara that manages the service, said they are operating round the clock and have 12 volunteers divided into groups working 12-hour shifts.

The gurdwara, with a separate team of around 25 volunteers, also provides meals to 1,000 COVID-affected households in Noida twice a day. Mr. Singh said he could be contacted at 9654714986 for the emergency ‘oxygen sewa’ as well as food arrangements.

Mandeep Awana (name changed on request), a property dealer, took his 75-year-old grandmother to the facility on Saturday. “I was trying to arrange an oxygen concentrator but could not despite trying all my contacts. Either they were only available on rent or not at all. My grandmother’s oxygen level has been fluctuating for days and I could not risk her life waiting for a miracle, so I brought her here,” he said.

Navneet Chawla (name changed), a resident of Sector 29, said he brought his 68-year-old mother to the site after hearing about it from an auto rickshaw driver he had hired to drive them back from a hospital.

“It was purely a matter of chance. My mother’s oxygen level was 95 when she was discharged but, within a few hours, dipped down to 76. Thankfully, the auto driver who was driving us home mentioned that this facility had become operational and I decided to bring her here till I can manage something on my own,” he said.

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