Delhi government’s doctors will stay in touch with all those who are given oxygen concentrators from these banks.(HT photo)
Delhi government’s doctors will stay in touch with all those who are given oxygen concentrators from these banks.(HT photo)

Govt sets up O2 device banks for patients in home isolation

  • A senior Delhi government official said each district will have at least 200 oxygen concentrators, to be given to patients on the advice of a doctor.
By Sweta Goswami, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAY 16, 2021 03:16 AM IST

The Delhi government is setting up oxygen concentrator banks across the city to ensure Covid-19 patients being treated at home get access to oxygen therapy should they need it, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Saturday.

Addressing a digital press briefing, Kejriwal said, “It has been often observed that whenever a person gets infected with the virus, their oxygen levels drop suddenly. If they are given oxygen immediately, their health can be prevented from deteriorating further. If they do not get oxygen on time, things then tend to get worse. Therefore, it is imperative that Covid-19 patients get oxygen when they need,” he said.

These banks will be set up in each district, Kejriwal added.

A senior Delhi government official said each district will have at least 200 oxygen concentrators, to be given to patients on the advice of a doctor.

If a Covid-19 patient is not enrolled for Delhi government’s home isolation programme, they may dial 1031 to get themselves enrolled, and avail oxygen concentrators from the bank.

However, the district administration’s team of doctors will first ensure whether the person needs an oxygen concentrator or not. After their affirmation, the oxygen concentrator will be delivered to the patients’ home.

“If patients under home isolation require oxygen, our team will ensure the concentrator reaches their home within two hours. A technician will also accompany the team and explain how the oxygen concentrator is to be used. Apart from this, several people in recovery too are often advised to take oxygen at home for a few days, and such patients too, can get concentrators from these banks,” Kejriwal said.

Delhi government’s doctors will stay in touch with all those who are given oxygen concentrators from these banks.

Once the patients recover, the oxygen concentrators will be taken back from them, sanitised, and handed to another patient for use, the government said in a statement.

“Organisations such as OLA Foundation and GiveIndia are helping us deliver oxygen concentrators to every house. We are very grateful for their support,” it said.

Atul Satija, GiveIndia’s CEO said, “Through this initiative, we will provide oxygen concentrators to those who are in home-isolation or in recovery right at their doorstep. We hope this will give easy access to patients in need and help combat the acute shortage of medical oxygen.”

“Infections are reducing in Delhi slowly and steadily, and I hope they diminish completely and do not rise again. However, we are not going to become negligent. On Friday, we prepared 500 additional ICU beds, and 500 similar beds were prepared four days ago. Within 15 days, our doctors, engineers and workers have prepared 1,000 ICU beds,” Kejriwal said.

Dr Nikhil Modi, senior consultant, respiratory critical care and sleep medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals in Delhi, said the establishment of a bank of oxygen concentrators is a good move to ensure supply for everyone.

“I feel that this is an important step as many people are getting moderate to severe disease and are not able to get beds on time. A back-up of oxygen can go a long way in stabilising such patients and hence we will save many lives. But, it is a step taken a little late as cases are now settling and most people will now be able to get a bed in hospitals. It was needed a month earlier when people were facing shortage of oxygen,” Dr Modi said.

Lockdown likely to be extended

The Delhi government is also likely to extend the ongoing lockdown in the Capital by a week, said state officials aware of the matter.

Kejriwal announced a lockdown on April 19 (after a weekend curfew on April 17 and 18),. The protocol has now been renewed several times and is currently scheduled to be in place till at least 10am on May 17. The order for the likely extension till May 24, will be issued on Sunday, officials said.

The crisis stretched the city’s hospitals and triggered a severe shortage of medical oxygen that did not get resolved until at least May 5, when the Capital finally received over 700MT of oxygen stock in a day after a long-drawn battle between the state and the Centre, which also played out in the high court and the Supreme Court.

Integrated centre for Covid-19 management

The Delhi government on Saturday also opened an integrated common command and control centre (ICCC) for Covid-19 management.

This centre has been opened at the already existing ICCC of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) at its headquarters - Palika Kendra, Parliament street.

“The Delhi government has started an Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC). Data related to hospitals, oxygen, vaccination and other aspects of Covid management are collected, collated and analysed on a real-time basis. It will help us in making informed decisions,” Kejriwal said after launching the centre on Saturday along with deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and senior government officials.

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