Kejriwal asks Modi to reserve 1,000 ICU beds in central hospitals
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reserve 1,000 ICU beds in central government hospitals in Delhi for Covid-19 patients even as he expressed concerns over the rising mortality rate and pointed out air pollution caused by stubble burning in neighbouring states as a contributing factor to the severity of the “third wave” in the Capital.
The Prime Minister held a high-level Covid-19 review meeting on Tuesday with chief ministers of all states on Tuesday, with special emphasis on eight high focus states, including Delhi.
“CM Arvind Kejriwal said that there is a sufficient number of non-ICU Covid beds available in Delhi, but there is a shortage of ICU beds. He appealed to the PM to reserve 1,000 ICU beds in the central government hospitals located in the city for Delhiites. CM Arvind Kejriwal said that the third wave of Covid-19 in Delhi peaked on 10 November with 8,600 positive cases, but now the positivity rate is constantly declining. The pollution from stubble burning in the neighbouring states has been a significant contributor in making the third wave of corona [Covid-19] more dangerous,” the CM’s office said in a press statement.
Kejriwal is learnt to have told the PM that out of the total ICU beds available across Delhi, around 3,500 ICU beds are occupied and 724 ICU beds are vacant. He appreciated Union home minister Amit Shah’s intervention in this regard as “supportive” and pointed out how Delhi had scaled up tests from around 20,000 per day to 60,000 per day between June and September – the period between the first two waves of Covid-19 in the Capital.
“But the rising mortality rate is a matter of concern and we have to reduce the mortality rate. We hope that the mortality rate will also reduce along with the declining positivity ratio in the coming days,” the statement quoted Kejriwal saying in the meeting.
“CM Arvind Kejriwal further said that several factors were instrumental in making the third wave of corona [Covid-19] in Delhi more dangerous, increased pollution levels in Delhi recently played a big role. The pollution from stubble burning in the neighbouring states has been one of the major reasons. The Delhi government has recently induced a solution to the issue of stubble burning with the help of the Pusa Agricultural Institute. The government has used the bio-decomposer technology developed by Pusa Institute across the farmlands in Delhi, which has converted the straw on the fields into manure,” according to the statement.
The chief minister also sought the intervention of the Prime Minister to resolve the issue of stubble burning with the help of bio-decomposer technology. He said, “We want that under your leadership, the Chief Ministers of Delhi, Punjab, and Haryana should work together as a team to eliminate stubble burning,” the statement said.
Later in the day, Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain posted some data on Twitter, saying that Delhi has the lowest case fatality ratio (at 1.6%) compared to Chennai, Pune, Surat, Thane, Kolkata, Kanpur, Nagpur, Howrah, Patiala, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Mumbai, Ludhiana and Ahmedabad.
Jain tweeted, “Delhi has least fatality ratio amongst all major cities in India. Rapid addition of ICU beds and other medical facilities have helped us achieve this. We are doing our best to save each and every life..”
Delhi reported 121 Covid-19 deaths on Monday -- the fourth consecutive day that the fatalities remained over 100. The number of deaths has shot up over the fortnight, with 114 people dying on average each day during this week, as compared to 93 the week before and 65 the week before that. The seven-day average case fatality ratio (CFR) – number of deaths among those who test positive — is inching closer to 2%. It stood at 1.84% as per data shared in Monday’s health bulletin.