Gasping for oxygen, Delhi awaits 480 MT of fresh supply

New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) Delhi is gasping for oxygen for a second day running as several hospitals are left with a few hours’ stock.
With the alarming surge in the number of Covid cases in the national capital, if the oxygen quota gets depleted in these hospitals, Delhi will stare at a catastrophe, the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government said in statement on Wednesday.
The statement came after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the “Centre has increased Delhi’s oxygen quota”.
“The Centre today (Wednesday) announced that it will supply 480 metric tonnes of oxygen to Delhi, which will take almost 72 hours to reach. The city is running out of time. A total of 140 MT of oxygen, which was supposed to reach Delhi, has not reached the capital so far,” the statement said.
It added that the Delhi government has repeatedly appealed to the Centre to increase its oxygen quota and has also informed it that the suppliers are facing obstructions from district authorities of neighbouring states like Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
The Delhi government has been demanding oxygen supply from the Centre of up to 700 MT per day. However, it received around 240 MT oxygen on Monday and 365 MT on Tuesday, according to the statement.
Lacking with its own source of oxygen, Delhi’s supply comes mainly from the neighbouring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
According to the Delhi government, the national capital will get more supply of oxygen from sates like Odisha, West Bengal and Uttarakhand, apart from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
“What remains a matter of grave concern is that of the 480 MT, 100 MT oxygen will come from Odisha and West Bengal, which will take almost 72 hours to reach Delhi. Delhi is in dire need of oxygen to save thousands of people battling with the virus. Our citizens, our hospitals, our city is running out of time,” the statement read.
Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who is also the nodal minister for Covid-19 management in the national capital, had said that the power related to oxygen supply lay with the Central government, which decides which state will get how much oxygen.
“This morning (Wednesday), several Delhi hospitals ran out of oxygen because it was supposed to come from a plant in Faridabad, Haryana. However, a district official reached the plant and stopped the life-saving oxygen vehicles from entering Delhi, claiming instead that going forward, this oxygen will stay with Haryana. When the Centre decides on the issue of oxygen, no state government should have the authority to stop its supply,” Sisodia said.
The state government also shared a list of hospitals facing oxygen shortage:
Indraprastha Apollo Hospital: Currently it has only 10-12 hours of oxygen supply available for all its patients with no other alternative. This level is dangerously low, with supply chain disruptions and delays being regularly witnessed over the week.
Manipal Hospital: Around 230 Covid patients are admitted to the hospital, which has an oxygen backup of merely 12 hours.
Max Hospital, Patparganj: It has around 262 Covid patients and oxygen for about three hours while the oxygen backup for the 285 Covid patients at the Max Shalimar Bagh will last for only about two hours.

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