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Amid reports of several small hospitals in the national capital running out of oxygen supply, Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain said on Thursday that the situation isn't "comfortable".

"Situation is different in different hospitals; six hours in some, eight in others 10 in some others. We cannot call this a comfortable situation," said Jain about the availability of oxygen in Delhi hospitals.

"There is a grave oxygen crisis in Delhi for the last three days. The Centre is making allocations to all states. Delhi's quota was less than the requirement but has been increased. If the crisis is resolved in a day or two, the number of beds will be increased," added the minister.

He also stated that the national capital is facing a dearth of ICU beds.

"We have made a request to the Centre. I think they will give us 700-800 ICU beds soon. We have demanded for 7,000 beds in central government-run hospitals. They have given us around 2,000," said Jain.

The statements come in the backdrop of small hospitals in the city struggling to replenish oxygen supply for coronavirus patients on Thursday morning, reported news agency PTI.

The Delhi High Court had on Wednesday night ordered the Centre to "forthwith" provide oxygen by whatever means to hospitals here facing a shortage of the gas in treating serious Covid-19 patients, observing it “seems human life is not important for the state".

The central government, represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, assured the court that it will facilitate supply of the increased allocation of 480 metric tonnes of oxygen to Delhi and the same will reach the national capital without any obstructions.

However, several private hospitals complained that no help has reached them.

Officials at the 210-bed Mata Chanan Devi Hospital sent an SOS to the Delhi government as their “oxygen supplier didn't fulfil commitments".

“Around 40 patients are in ICU. We got 500 kg oxygen last night. The supplier was supposed to give more at 4 am, but they have not been picking up calls since then," ICU Head Dr A C Shukla was quoted as saying by PTI.

“With the Delhi government's intervention, we have got 21 D-type cylinders, but a continuous supply is needed. The situation is very serious," he added.

Dr Pankaj Solanki, who runs the 50-bed Dharamveer Solanki Hospital, said the hospital is using the “back up" which will last till Thursday afternoon.

Dr Solanki said he had informed officials concerned to transfer out 30 patients.

An official at the Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital said they were low on oxygen and their supplier isn't responding to calls.

Meanwhile, some hospitals received fresh stock overnight and more is likely to come in soon.

Dr Suresh Kumar, the medical director at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, said three tankers carrying oxygen reached the facility last night.

“At 8:30 am, we have around eight hours of oxygen left. More is coming," he said.

With inputs from agencies.


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