NEW DELHI: The Delhi government’s demand for a higher supply of oxygen during the peak of the second wave in the city was because of miscalculation, claimed the interim report of a sub-group formed by the Supreme Court. The report states that the formulae used by the Government of India and by the Delhi government to calculate the requirement of oxygen were different.
“It was clarified that the formula used by GOI was devised by a group of experts and is used for making liquid medical oxygen (LMO) allocation to various states. This formula assumes that only 50% of the non-ICU beds use oxygen. However, the formula used by the Delhi government assumes that all non-ICU oxygenated beds use oxygen,” it says.
The report also states that the Delhi govt claimed that their formula is based on ICMR guidelines but no such guidelines were placed before the subgroup. The report also noted that the data collated by the Delhi government has errors as claimed by the Addl. Secretary of Centre’s Department for Promotion of Indian Industry and Internal Trade.
“It is still not clear on what basis had an allocation of 700MT been sought by Govt of Delhi in the Supreme Court when collated data had so many gross errors and it took an oxygen audit to point out the same. It also appears that the Govt of Delhi used the wrong formula and made exaggerated claims on 30th April. It was evident that some hospitals could not differentiate between KL and MT and the same was not examined while projecting 700 MTs,” it said.
However, on April 29, AAP MLA Raghav Chadha had said that Delhi had calculated appropriate oxygen requirements as per the Centre’s formula which stood at 976 MT and claimed that it continued to receive less than 400 MT.
City had enough LMO stock, claims PESO study
The findings of a study by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) have also been mentioned in the report. It stated that the average daily consumption of LMO in Delhi, at that time, was 284 to 372 MTs and that the city did not have the infrastructure for storing 700 MTs of LMO as was demanded by the state government during the Covid surge.
The study was conducted from May 5 to May 11 which found that a sufficient quantity of LMO was available with major hospitals and refillers in Delhi during that period. “LMO stock with the hospitals and refillers has gone up from 309 MT (48% of total capacity surveyed) on morning of 6th May to 501 MTs (71% of total capacity surveyed) on morning of 11th May 2021.
Almost 80% of the major hospitals surveyed had more than 12 hours of stock. Most others do not have adequate storage to increase stock,” the report suggested. However, the Delhi govt stated that the data presented was from May 10 onwards whereas it was assured that trends from April 29 onwards will be made available to the panel for evaluation.
The report, however, did not collect data from April 20 onwards till the end of the month when the city saw the highest crisis for liquid oxygen which also led to the death of patients in some hospitals. On April 20, the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had, for the first time, announced an acute shortage of oxygen and demanded more supply.