Ramping up oxygen storage, adding buffer stocks of medicines: Delhi gears up for possible third COVID wave

The bed occupancy rate is low with 8,825 of the 9,035 dedicated COVID-19 beds lying vacant in the city hospitals, while 97.55 per cent of the 8,424 oxygenated beds are also lying vacant.

Published: 23rd December 2021 10:08 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd December 2021 11:33 PM   |  A+A-

A worker prepares a bed for Covid patients in Commonwealth Games Village in view of the Omicron cases, in New Delhi. (Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS)

A worker prepares a bed for Covid patients in Commonwealth Games Village in view of the Omicron cases, in New Delhi. (Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS)


NEW DELHI: Procurement of equipment, ramping up the oxygen storage capacity and adding buffer stocks of medicines are some of the steps being taken by the Delhi government to tackle a possible third wave of COVID-19.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reviewed the pandemic situation and the threat posed by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in the national capital at a meeting with his cabinet colleagues and senior officials on Thursday.

According to official data, the bed occupancy rate is low with 8,825 of the 9,035 dedicated COVID-19 beds lying vacant in the city hospitals, while 97.55 per cent of the 8,424 oxygenated beds are also lying vacant.

A meagre 1.04 per cent and 0.94 per cent of the 2,796 ICU beds and 1,382 ventilators are occupied.

The government is working to ensure 37,000 beds for patients in hospitals and has already set up 31,695 beds.

There are 2,328 dedicated beds for children and 9,894 ICU beds have been set up out of a target of 10,594.

A cabinet note on the procurement of 32 types of medicines required for the treatment of the infection has already been submitted, with the tendering process being initiated in anticipation of the cabinet approval, according to officials.

The government has identified 19 hospital equipment like defibrillators, ECG machines, oximeters etc.

that will be procured centrally and tenders for which have been floated on the GeM portal.

The tenders are likely to be awarded from next week to the first week of January.

Delhi currently has an oxygen capacity of 1,363.73 metric tonnes, according to official data.

During the second Covid wave, the peak oxygen demand had surged to 700 metric tonnes in the national capital.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has ramped up the city's medical oxygen infrastructure to tackle a possible third wave of the pandemic and in view of the threat posed by Omicron.

It has also procured 6,000 D-type cylinders.It did not have such cylinders till May 31.

Delhi also has pressure adsorption plants that have a capacity of producing 130.7 metric tonnes of oxygen.

There were no such facilities in the city till May 31.

The government will procure 13 such plants by December 31 and three more by January 15.

Two cryogenic bottling plants with a total capacity of 12.5 metric tonnes will be commissioned this week and these plants will be able to refill 1,400 jumbo cylinders a day.

Till May 31, the government had three re-fillers that could fill about 1,500 cylinders per day.

The national capital has witnessed a surge in the number coronavirus cases in the last few days with 125 fresh cases reported on Wednesday.


Delhi was hit by a brutal second wave of the pandemic in April-May, which claimed a massive number of lives daily, and a shortage of oxygen supply at various city hospitals had added to the woes of people.

Since April 19, the number of fresh COVID-19 cases as well as the fatality count were spiralling up, with over 28,000 cases and 277 deaths recorded on April 20, rising to 306 fatalities on April 22.

On May 3, the city registered a record 448 deaths caused by the viral disease, according to official data.

Delhi on Thursday achieved the milestone of administering at least one dose of Covid vaccine to all above 18, according to government data.

According to the CoWIN dashboard, 1,48,27,546 people in the capital have taken at least one dose of Covid-109 vaccine by 8 pm on Thursday.

As per the draft roll published on November 1, 2021, the total number of electors in Delhi stands at 1,47,95,949.

Over 2,53,37,557 doses have been administered in the city since the inoculation exercise started on January 16.

As many as 1,05,10,011 people have received both the doses.

Over 1.22 lakh people were vaccinated against coronavirus in Delhi on Thursday.

Delhi has recorded over 96 per cent increase in COVID-19 cases in the last fortnight ending Wednesday, official data showed.

The total number of cases was 362 in the week spanning December 9-15 that rose to 712 in the next seven days from December 16 to December 22, it showed.

The number of average daily COVID cases jumped from 51 to 101 in the past two weeks ending December 22, with four districts contributing to over 66 per cent of the total caseload of the city, official data showed.

In a high-level review meeting earlier in the day, the Chief Minister discussed the COVID situation and Omicron threat faced by Delhi along with his ministers and senior officials.

Delhi government figures showed that New Delhi, South, Southeast and Southwest together contributed 66.

7 per cent of the total case load in Delhi, in the December 16-22 period.

It came down from 68 per cent in the previous seven day period of December 9-15.

However, the districts having fewer numbers of cases during December 9-15 registered faster rise in cases in the next seven days (December 16-22).

The total cases recorded during December 9-15 were 88 in New Delhi, 76 in South, 47 in South East and 35 in South West.

These figures rose to 153 in New Delhi, 131 in South, 109 in South East and and 82 in South West districts during December 16-22.

The total cases rose 362 to 712 between the two weeks and daily average cases increased from 51.7 per cent to 101.7 per cent, figures showed.

The trans-Yamuna districts like Shahdara, East and North East districts defied the trend in rise in the number of cases.

North East Delhi recorded a total of two cases in both weeks while the number rose from 15 to 16 in Shahdara district.

The total cases rose from 15 to 20 in East between the two weeks, data showed.

The rise in the number of cases in districts like New Delhi, South and South West districts was attributed to two reasons by the officials.

"Most air passengers that flew into the city mostly stay in these parts of the city. Another reason is that the hotels and banquet halls in these districts witnessed many gatherings during the wedding season," said a senior government officer.

The figures showed a trend of high rise in percentage of cases in districts that earlier had relatively fewer cases.

The percentage rise in cases was 213 per cent in West, and 114 per cent in North districts during December 16-22 as compared to cases in December 9-15, figures showed.

The positivity rate in Delhi was 0.09 percent in December 9-15 that increased to 0.17 percent in the next seven days, figures showed.

The positivity rate increased by 95.5 percent in the two weeks.


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