Hindustan Times (East UP)

Only 8-10 hours of oxygen left in Delhi hospitals: Kejriwal

- Letters@hindustant­imes.com

NEW DELHI: Amid complaints of oxygen scarcity in hospitals throughout the country owing to the massive spike in coronaviru­s infections, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday appealed to the Centre to “urgently” provide oxygen to the national capital, saying that hospitals are facing acute shortage due to an unpreceden­ted surge in cases.

“Serious oxygen crisis persists in Delhi. I again urge centre to urgently provide oxygen to Delhi. Some hospitals are left with just a few hours of oxygen,” Kejriwal tweeted.

He had earlier made a similar appeal to the central government, saying that hospitals in the national capital are running low on oxygen as well as ICU beds.

Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday said the Centre should be “sensitive and active” in handling the situation so that there is no clamour among states over its supply.

Sisodia, who is also the nodal minister for Covid-19 management in the national capital, said he is getting SOS calls on oxygen shortage from all hospitals. He also alleged that people involved in supplying oxygen are being stopped in different states.

“Getting SOS calls on shortage of oxygen from all hospitals. People involved in supplying oxygen are being stopped at different states. To ensure that there no ‘jungle raj’ among states over supply of oxygen, the Central government should be very sensitive and active to handle the situation,” he tweeted in Hindi.

Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said they have just eight hours of oxygen left. The hospital has 485 Covid beds, of which 475 are occupied. Around 120 patients are currently in the ICU. Its chairman D S Rana said, “6,000 cubic meters of it is left, which at the rate of current consumptio­n will last till 1 am. Need urgent replenishm­ent.”

In the last 24 hours, Delhi reported 240 deaths — the highest-ever registered in a single day fatalities in the city — and 23,686 fresh coronaviru­s infections. There are currently 76,887 active cases in the national capital.

The national capital has gone into a six-day lockdown amid the deteriorat­ing Covid-19 situation. Only 2,426 Covid-19 beds are available at hospitals in Delhi at present, state’s health minister Satyendar Jain said on Tuesday, assuring that the city government was increasing the number of beds for coronaviru­s patients at a fast pace.

The details of the available beds can be found on the Delhi Corona app, he told reporters in Delhi.

Jain said the Delhi government was making efforts to increase the number of beds, and approximat­ely 1,000-1,500 beds are being added every day.

“There were about 6,000 beds on April 8, which has been increased to close to 19,000 as of Tuesday. The Delhi government has increased beds more than three times in the last 10-12 days,” he said.

“Today COVID-19 hospitals have 18,923 beds, and out of that, 2,426 are available. Beds are being increased in many centres by attaching them to hospitals,” Jain added.

The minister said Covid-19 beds have also been added to several other centres, including the Commonweal­th Games Village. Meanwhile, Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said the next three weeks are crucial with respect to the Covid-19 pandemic situation in the country.”Centre working closely with States and UTs on public health measures to contain COVID-19. Next three weeks crucial! At a meeting held today, UTs advised augmenting hospital infrastruc­ture, ramping up testing, creating containmen­t zones and strictly enforcing COVID appropriat­e behaviour,” tweeted Dr Harsh Vardhan.

Serious oxygen crisis persists... I again urge Centre to urgently provide oxygen to Delhi. Some hospitals are left with just a few hours of oxygen.

ARVIND KEJRIWAL, Delhi CM

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