Delhi hospitals receive medical oxygen after CM, deputy CM flag shortage
Hospitals in Delhi, which were facing acute shortage of medical oxygen, putting lives of serious patients of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at risk, received its supply on Tuesday night hours after chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia expressed concern over the issue on their Twitter accounts.
The national capital’s Ganga Ram hospital said it received about 4500 cubic metres of oxygen from a private vendor and 6000 cubic metres from Inox Air last night. The total requirement, the hospital said, was 11,000 cubic metres.
“Indian Oxygen Limited and Inox have said that they will refill tanks during the day,” officials told news agency ANI on Wednesday.
The Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital, meanwhile, received 10 tons of oxygen, hospital officials said. The stock is sufficient for the current situation, they further said.
There have also been reports of trucks transporting medical oxygen to Delhi from the neighbouring states being forced to take a detour as three key borders of the national capital have been blocked by farmers protesting against the three contentious central agricultural laws since November 26 last year.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Delhi high court directed that the Centre’s directions on April 18 suspending supply of oxygen to industrial units, except for those under exempted categories, be implemented “immediately.” Initially, the order was to come into effect from April 22. “Industries can wait, patients cannot. Human lives are at stake,” a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said.
Amid reports of shortage of medical oxygen in several states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired several key meetings last week to review its supply. Indian Railways is also running special “Oxygen Express” trains to deliver oxygen to states. Oxygen is an important element used in the treatment of certain medical conditions which arise due to the Covid-19 disease.
Delhi, which, on Wednesday, is observing a second full day of a six-day lockdown, is in the middle of an unprecedented rise in its daily cases of the viral disease. On April 20, the city logged 28,395 fresh infections, its highest-ever single-day rise, taking the infection tally to 905,541 as per a health department bulletin. There were 277 related deaths as well, taking the death toll to 12,638. The positivity rate is at its highest at 32.82%.
The lockdown began at 10pm on Monday and will conclude at 5am next Monday.
(With agency inputs)