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Delhi Covid surge: More beds to be added once oxygen crisis resolved, says health minister

A patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) gets treatment at the casualty ward in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital (REUTERS)Premium
A patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) gets treatment at the casualty ward in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital (REUTERS)

  • Around 800 ICU beds are likely to be added in central government hospitals soon, he said
  • We have demanded that the Centre give us 7,000 beds for two weeks. So far, 2,000 beds have been given, he added

As the health infrastructure in Delhi is in the verge of collapsing amidst the massive rise in the coronavirus cases, Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Thursday noted that they would be increasing the number of beds for COVID patients once the 'oxygen crisis' is resolved, a PTI report said.

He said, around 800 ICU beds are likely to be added in central government hospitals soon. And further added, “We have demanded that the Centre to give us 7,000 beds for two weeks. So far, 2,000 beds have been given."

"The number of beds are being increased, but Delhi has been facing a serious problem with regard to oxygen supply for the last three days, Jain said adding, “beds for COVID patients will be increased in a large number once this crisis ends."

Jain said hospitals in Delhi grappled with a shortage of oxygen the entire night. “The supply had almost finished in some hospitals. Thereafter, small quantities of oxygen were distributed among hospitals," he said.

Kejriwal thanks Centre for increasing Delhi's oxygen quota

Amid the crisis, the Central Government on Wednesday reportedly increased Delhi's oxygen quota from 378 MT to 500 MT. The national capital has sought 700 MT for its current need. Later, thanking the Centre and the High Court for their efforts, the chief minster Arvind Kejriwal said, "Central government has increased Delhi's quota of oxygen. We are very grateful to centre for this."

"Centre also allots companies that will supply oxygen to a particular state. Delhi doesn't produce Oxygen, supply here is done by other states...Some of the Govts, in whose states these companies are, had stopped the supply that was to come to Delhi from these companies." said Delhi CM.

Pointing out that a major chunk of the freshly allotted quota of oxygen to Delhi comes from Odisha, which is hundreds of kilometres away, he noted that the Delhi government is planning to airlift it to save time.

"In our increased quota, Oxygen is scheduled to come from Odisha too. So it will take some time for Oxygen to reach Delhi. We are making an effort to see if we can bring Oxygen from there by air route," he added.

Delhi received its quota of oxygen as fixed by the Centre from other states, he said, but added, some states stopped trucks headed to the national capital.

Centre's allocation to Delhi not being respected by some states: HC

Meanwhile, Delhi High Court on Thursday stated that Centre's allocation of oxygen for Delhi from plants in other states like Haryana was not being respected by the local administration and it needs to be resolved immediately.

The bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli observed this after the Delhi government told the court that oxygen that was to come from Panipat in Haryana was not being allowed to be picked up by the local police.

The government also informed the court that oxygen which was to be picked up from some units in Uttar Pradesh could not be lifted.

(With inputs from agencies)







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