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Now that there has been an improvement in the supply of oxygen, no coronavirus patient should suffer a shortage of the life-saving gas, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told officials on Friday.

During a meeting on the COVID-19 situation in the national capital, Kejriwal also directed district magistrates to increase the number of oxygen beds "so that no deaths happen due to lack of oxygen in Delhi".

Efforts should be made to inoculate people eligible for COVID-19 vaccination within three months, he said and directed the district magistrates (DMs) to pay surprise visits to vaccination centres to review preparations.

"Now that Delhi has received oxygen, no one in Delhi should suffer because of shortage of oxygen. All the hospitals in Delhi should increase their beds and every DM should arrange new oxygen beds in their districts so that no deaths happen due to lack of oxygen in Delhi," Kejriwal said.

He also stressed that there should be no wastage of the life-saving gas.

"Now that Delhi is getting adequate oxygen, the hampering of oxygen distribution has to be corrected so that there is no disruption in the supply of oxygen... Oxygen is very important so it should be used efficiently," the chief minister said.

"We have to try to prevent oxygen wastage and save as much oxygen as we can. If we can, we should save oxygen and return it to the Central government so that it can be used somewhere else," he said.

During the meeting, Kejriwal also expressed displeasure over all home isolation patients not being given oximeters.

On Thursday, Kejriwal had said that if 700 metric tonnes of daily oxygen supply is ensured by the Centre, the Delhi government can set up around 9,000-9,500 more oxygen beds.

Delhi will soon be getting 48 oxygen plants and the chief minister said that they should be installed immediately as soon as they reach the city.

These plants have an oxygen production capacity of 40 tonnes and will further help in improving Delhi's oxygen situation, he said, adding that long-term plans have to be prepared and the capacity of oxygen storage has to be built on a very large scale.

"We should also create a special storage capacity for the storage of oxygen," Kejriwal said.

On oximeters to those in home isolation, he said it should be ensured that device is given to all patients recovering at home.

In the meeting, officials informed the chief minister that the biggest difficulty at present is supplying oxygen and companies involved should be asked to provide it at the earliest.

Kejriwal has also directed DMs to visit relief centres every day to ensure the poor are not facing any problem with food, and all facilities and treatment are being provided in shelter homes, old-age homes, and orphanages.

"We will be able to stop the third wave of coronavirus from coming to Delhi, only by being able to administer vaccines to everyone in Delhi as soon as possible in the next three months. We need to recruit retired doctors, nurses, and medical staff on a large scale. Whoever wants to help the society should join the government and contribute to helping in this difficult situation," he said.

As many as 1.84 lakh people in the 18-44 age group have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine since the inoculation of this category started on May 3, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Friday.

According to Delhi government's health bulletin, 1,14,657 beneficiaries were vaccinated in the last 24 hours, of which 80,306 received their first dose. PTI SLB ANB ANB

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