Delhi receiving less oxygen than required: Officials

Delhi government officials on Sunday said the national capital received medical oxygen much less than a demand of 700 metric ton daily, amid a surge in the number of COVID-19 patients.

The city hospitals, particularly private ones, are facing a severe shortage of medical oxygen for critical COVID-19 patients even as the Centre and the city government are engaged in verbal duel over the issue.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a press briefing on Sunday said that against its daily quota of 480 MT, Delhi is receiving around 330-335 MT of medical oxygen.

He, however, said that teams of the Centre and the Delhi government are working in smooth coordination to ensure steady supply of oxygen and hoped that the chaotic situation due to its shortage will subside in the next few days.

He also said the Centre has further enhanced Delhi’s oxygen quota from 480 MT to 490 MT per day. A few days ago, the Centre had raised Delhi’s quota from 380 MT to 480 MT a day in view of a rush of serious COVID-19 patients to hospitals.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had said on Saturday that “Delhi has been allocated more than the quota it demanded. Delhi Chief Minister has formally thanked the Prime Minister for it.”

Officials in the Delhi government, however, said the city received 380 MT of oxygen against its quota of 480 MT on April 22 and 309 MT on April 23. It was delivered 335 MT on Saturday against a raised quota of 490 MT, they said.

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The Delhi government has directed manufacturers, suppliers and hospitals to update figures of supply and consumption of medical oxygen on its portal every two hours.

This move will help the government in determining any shortages beforehand and ensure needed supply in time, the chief minister said.

Delhi recorded 350 COVID-19 deaths and 22,933 cases with a positivity rate of 30.21 percent on Sunday, even as hospitals across the city continued to send out SOS calls for oxygen supply.

This is the fourth day on the trot that Delhi has recorded over 300 deaths due to coronavirus.

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