NEW DELHI: As COVID-19 cases in the national capital continue to rise at an alarming rate, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said Delhi is facing an acute shortage of oxygen and needs much more than the normal supply.
The chief minister's remarks came hours after he wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his help in enhancing the number of hospital beds and immediate oxygen supply for patients in Delhi.
A central government official has rejected Kejriwal's claims as "blatant lies" and said there was no panic situation in Delhi regarding oxygen.
The chief minister also wrote a letter to Union Commerce and Industries Minister Piyush Goyal urging him to ensure "uninterrupted" supply of 700MT of oxygen on daily basis and restore supply of 140MT of oxygen by a supplier INOX.
The output of INOX, one of the major suppliers to Delhi hospitals, has been "diverted" to other states which has already started causing "critical shortages", he charged in the letter. A senior official in the Commerce Ministry told PTI that the allegations made by the Delhi CM are "blatant lies".
Taking to Twitter, Kejriwal also claimed that instead of increasing the oxygen supply to the national capital, Delhi's quota has been to other states. "Delhi facing acute shortage of oxygen. In view of sharply increasing cases, Delhi needs much more than the normal supply. Rather than increasing supply, our normal supply has been sharply reduced and Delhi's quota has been diverted to other states. OXYGEN HAS BECOME AN EMERGENCY IN DELHI," he tweeted.
Del facing acute shortage of oxygen. In view of sharply increasing cases, Del needs much more than normal supply. Rather than increasing supply, our normal supply has been sharply reduced and Delhi’s quota has been diverted to other states.— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 18, 2021
OXYGEN HAS BECOME AN EMERGENCY IN DEL
Kejriwal along with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia visited a school at Rouse Avenue that has been converted into a COVID centre. After the visit, the Chief Minister said that 1500 more oxygen beds will become functional between tomorrow (Monday) and the day after (Tuesday) in three places in Delhi.
"Visited Commonwealth Games Village, Yamuna sports complex, and Government school at Rouse Avenue. 1500 oxygen beds will become functional between tomorrow and the day after in these three places," he said in another tweet.
Visited Commonwealth Games Village, Yamuna sports complex and Govt. school at Rouse Avenue. 1500 oxygen beds will become functional between tomorrow and day after in these three places. pic.twitter.com/nZCXzZlpXe— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 18, 2021
Sisodia also visited Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO) upcoming COVID hospital near the airport and said with the new centre, 250 more ICU beds will be added in Delhi. "Visited DRDO's upcoming Covid Hospital near the airport. Salute to DRDO for creating this facility within 5 days' time. With this centre, 250 ICU beds with ventilators will be added for critically ill patients from tomorrow. Another 250 beds would be operational in the next 4-5 days," Sisodia said after his visit.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain informed that to tackle the Covid situation in Delhi, the government has added 1979 normal oxygen supported Covid beds, 219 ICU beds with ventilator and 696 ICU beds without ventilator in the national capital hospitals.
"To tackle the COVID situation in Delhi, hospital beds for Covid-19 is under continuous escalation. 1979 normal oxygen supported Covid beds have been added. Additional 219 ICU beds with ventilator and 696 ICU beds without ventilator have been increased," tweeted Jain.
To tackle the Covid situation in Delhi, hospital beds for Covid-19 is under continuous escalation.— Satyendar Jain (@SatyendarJain) April 18, 2021
1979 normal oxygen supported Covid beds have been added.
Additional 219 ICU beds with ventilator and 696 ICU beds without ventilator have been increased. #DelhiFightsCorona pic.twitter.com/VC6RIDdQFo
Meanwhile, Delhi Police filed an FIR against Mata Chanan Devi Hospital in Janak Puri for displaying wrong information about the availability of Covid beds on the Delhi government's website. The police said a team was formed to verify the complaints received against Mata Chanan Devi Hospital.
"At the hospital, they inquired from the emergency ward and the staff available at the help desk about the availability of beds for Corona patients but both the in charge of the emergency ward and duty person present on the helpdesk told that there is no bed available. Further inquiry was conducted telephonically from the doctors in charge and over mobile number available over the site but both of them also told that there no bed available for Corona patient. However, when checked on 'Delhi Corona Patient Portal' it showed that there are 93 beds available in hospital," the police said.
Delhi reported 25,462 fresh COVID cases, 20,159 recoveries, and 161 deaths in the last 24 hours. The active cases stand at 74,941 while the recoveries reached 7,66,398. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and LG Anil Baijal will hold a meeting with senior government officers on Monday over the COVID-19 situation in the national capital.