4 oxygen tankers for Delhi may arrive on Monday from Chhattisgarh: Govt
As many as four oxygen tankers are being loaded on rail wagons in Chhattisgarh and are likely to reach Delhi by Monday night, the ministry of railways said on Sunday. This is the first Oxygen Express train routed for Delhi following the Arvind Kejriwal government’s request to the Centre for the gas needed to treat critically ill Covid-19 patients.
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"One oxygen Express train carrying four tankers (around 70 Metric tonnes of LMO) will depart tonight for Delhi from Raigarh, Chattisgarh. It will contribute in fulfilling the oxygen need of Delhi," the ministry of railways wrote on Twitter.
The crucial announcement comes at a time when the Delhi government has been reporting an acute shortage of oxygen and other infrastructure needed to meet the requirements as per the rising cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the fourth wave of the pandemic in the city.
Railway Board chairman Suneet Sharma said the railways has chalked out plans to transport medical oxygen from Angul, Kalingnagar, Rourkela and Raigarh to the national capital and the National Capital Region (NCR) and that the Delhi government has been advised to get road tankers ready to obtain the oxygen.
On Saturday, 20 patients at a hospital in Delhi’s Rohini died due to a shortage of oxygen. Social media, too, is flooded with SOS messages from citizens as well as hospitals who need to save the lives of seriously ill Covid-19 patients gasping for breath at hospitals or in home isolation.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday wrote to his counterparts in other states and Union territories asking them to assist the national capital with any surplus oxygen supply they may have. However, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan claimed that Delhi was provided with as much supply of the gas as asked by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and it is their responsibility to rationalise its use.
The Delhi government on Sunday extended the lockdown in the city till May 3 morning to curb the spread of the viral disease that has infected over one million people.