Manish Sisodia writes to Rajnath Singh seeking Army's help to fight Covid-19 in Delhi

By | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
May 03, 2021 10:57 AM IST

Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia wrote to defence minister Rajnath Singh seeking Army's help in creating additional ICU and non-ICU beds in the Capital.

Delhi has sought the help of the Army to set up, operationalise and run some Covid-19 health facilities with about 10,000 oxygenated non-ICU beds and 1,000 ICU beds, as the Capital is grappling with the increase in the number of fresh infections, daily deaths, while people are running from pillar to post in search of oxygen and other medical essentials.

Family members of a Covid-19 victim at Old Seemapuri Cremation Grounds in New Delhi.(PTI)
Family members of a Covid-19 victim at Old Seemapuri Cremation Grounds in New Delhi.(PTI)

"Since the entire health infrastructure machinery is overwhelmed with the management of the existing hospitals and the upcoming Covid hospitals, it will be a timely help to the people of Delhi if the ministry of defence, with the considerable resources at its command, is tasked with the responsibility to provide and man the additional Covid health facilities as per the current projections," Sisodia wrote, requesting the defence ministry to arrange for the supply for medical oxygen for the Covid health facilities to be set up.

At present, the Capitals has 16,272 non-ICU oxygen beds and 4,866 ICU beds and the Delhi government is creating an additional 15,000 oxygenated non-ICU beds and 1,200 ICU beds, which will be operational in the next 10 days. But as Delhi is recording over 25,000 new cases every day and about 10 per cent of these new cases require some form of hospitalisation, the additional health infrastructure will soon be at its capacity, Sisodia wrote.

India registers 368,147 new Covid-19 cases, infection tally nears 20 million

Thanking the Centre for augmenting Delhi's oxygen supply and all the work that DRDO, ITBP are doing, Sisodia urged the ministry to provide cryogenic tankers for the transport of Liquid Medical Oxygen. The government of Delhi with necessary help from the government of India and other state governments is augmenting the transport infrastructure by sourcing cryogenic tankers even from abroad, the deputy CM said.

Delhi also needs the Army's help in procuring about 40,000 D Type medical oxygen cylinders, the deputy CM wrote requesting the ministry to provide medical and paramedical teams to supplement the medical manpower of Delhi.

"The operational details can be mutually worked out after receipt of in-principle approval from the defence ministry," Sisodia said.

The crisis in Delhi worsened in April with the infection spreading at an unprecedented rate. The trouble compounded by the scarcity of oxygen and as all healthcare facilities are at full capacity, people are dying without getting beds. About 12 people at Delhi's Batra hospital died on Saturday after the hospital ran out of oxygen supply for 1.5 hours.

The Supreme Court on Sunday issued an order asking the Centre to address Delhi's oxygen issue by Monday midnight. The apex court has also asked the Centre to create a buffer stock of oxygen that can be used by all states.

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