Delhi hospitals left with few hours of oxygen: CM Kejriwal's SOS to Centre

The Delhi government was in talks with the central government and has requested the latter to ensure a smooth and timely supply of oxygen to Delhi
The Delhi government sent out an SOS to the Centre on the oxygen crisis in the capital with several hospitals left with just a few hours of oxygen.


“Serious oxygen crisis persists in Delhi. I again urge the Centre to urgently provide oxygen to Delhi. Some hospitals are left with just a few hours of oxygen,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a tweet.


The Delhi High Court, meanwhile, directed the Centre on Tuesday to immediately ban industrial use of oxygen instead of waiting till April 22. “Industries can wait. Patients cannot. Human lives are at stake,” the Bench said.


The Delhi government was in talks with the central government and has requested the latter to ensure a smooth and timely supply of oxygen to Delhi. Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said only 8-12 hours of oxygen was available in most hospitals.


“Had a review meeting with officials on the current situation. We are working on a war footing to ensure oxygen supply in Delhi, and are also talking to the central government. An increase in the number of oxygen beds is happening on a large scale,” Kejriwal added.


The national capital has been reporting nearly 25,000 fresh cases per day for the last three-four days. The daily death toll has also crossed 240.


The Delhi government said in a press statement that every day, approximately 1,000-1,500 beds are being increased in the city. Till Monday, Covid hospitals in Delhi had a total of 18,231 beds, out of which 3,000 beds were empty, according to state government data. “ICU had about 100 beds available. At the same time, today Covid-19 hospitals have a total of 18,923 beds, out of which 2,462 beds are available.”


The Delhi government said Covid beds have also been extended to several other centres, including the Commonwealth Games Village. “We are increasing the beds by associating them with all the hospitals of the state government. The availability of Covid-19 beds can be seen in the Delhi Corona app,” said Satyendra Jain, Delhi’s health minister.


Delhi HC


A Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli of the Delhi High Court said on Tuesday that oxygen supply of various hospitals will run out in 4-8 hours and in such a situation there was no justification in implementing the ban on industrial use of oxygen from April 22 as the need was now.


“During lockdown, what would be the development,” the court said and asked the Centre why it was waiting till April 22 to ban industrial use of oxygen.


“Shortage is now. You have to do it (ban) now. Look into taking some oxygen from steel and petroleum industries. They have big pockets and big lobbies, but tell them if they have to cut production, then they can cut production. Lives have to be saved,” the Bench said.


It said if nothing was done, then “we are heading for a bigger disaster”.


“We might end up losing nearly a crore of people. Are we willing to accept that,” the Bench said.


It also suggested increasing the Covid beds in hospitals which have their own oxygen generating capacity.


The observations came after perusing the Centre’s affidavit, which said there was no gap in oxygen supply to Delhi and that industrial use of oxygen was banned with effect from April 22.


Earlier in the day, the court had asked the Centre whether oxygen supplied to industries can be diverted for COVID-19 patients.

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