'Hospitals left with few hours of oxygen': Kejriwal seeks 'urgent' help from Centre
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal reiterated on Tuesday that 'serious oxygen crisis' persists in Delhi, after first flagging the issue on Sunday.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal once again expressed concern over reports of oxygen crisis in city hospitals, saying on Tuesday that "hospitals are left with just a few hours of oxygen."
"Serious oxygen crisis persists in Delhi. I again urge centre to urgently provide oxygen to Delhi. Some hospitals are left with just a few hours of oxygen," Kejriwal tweeted on Tuesday evening.
"Chaired a review meeting with officials over the Covid-19 situation in Delhi. We're working at war footing to ensure oxygen supply in hospitals and also talking to the central government. A mega effort is also on to increase the number of beds in hospitals," read another tweet posted by the chief minister, translated roughly into English.
Kejriwal first expressed concern on acute shortage of oxygen in Delhi's hospitals on Sunday, remarking that it has become an "emergency in Delhi."
Kejriwal's tweets come on a day the Delhi high court passed an order, directing "immediate implementation" of Centre's order to suspend supply of oxygen to industries. "Industries can wait, patients cannot. Human lives are at stake," a bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli told the central government. The directions came when the bench was hearing a petition regarding Covid-19 tests, which the high court revived on April 19 amid a rise in daily cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
On Sunday, Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla wrote to state chief secretaries, directing them to take measures to prohibit the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes, except for industries that fall in exempted categories, from April 22. Oxygen is an important element used in the treatment of certain medical infections that arise due to Covid-19. The Centre called the ban "crucial" as there was a demand for liquid oxygen in several states like Maharashtra, Delhi, which have been witnessing a steep rise in their fresh infections of the viral disease.
Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired several meetings to review the current situation of oxygen supply to various states. Indian Railways has also started special "Oxygen Express" to transport liquid medical oxygen to states.
Delhi began a six-day lockdown on Monday night which it will exit at 5am next Monday, as announced by CM Kejriwal. The Capital saw 23,686 new Covid-19 cases on the day, as per a health department bulletin, which took its infection tally to 877,146. The bulletin also showed that 240 more people succumbed to the virus, taking the death toll to 12,361.