CM chairs meet over plan to increase no. of oxygen beds in Delhi hospitals

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New Delhi, Apr 28 (PTI) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal chaired a meeting on Wednesday to chalk out a plan for increasing the number of oxygen beds and strengthening the home isolation system in the national capital, following a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

'Convened a meeting with the officials. Discussed the plan to increase oxygen beds in the coming days, and strengthen home isolation system in Delhi. Please take all precautions and stay safe,' Kejriwal said in a tweet.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Health Minister Satyendar Jain, the additional chief secretary and the health secretary were also present at the meeting, along with health officials.

'We are noticing that this new strain of the coronavirus is quite dangerous and often leads to respiratory and breathing issues. It has become very important to provide beds to every patient who needs oxygen. We have to expedite the process to add more ICU and oxygen beds in the coming weeks,' Kejriwal said at the meeting.

'We have to further strengthen our home isolation system. Every patient who is recovering from COVID-19 under home isolation should receive regular calls from Delhi government doctors and an oximeter. We have to monitor the daily condition of every patient recovering from the disease in home isolation,' he added.

Delhi logged a record 381 COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, while the positivity rate stood at 32.72 per cent. This was the sixth day on the trot that the national capital recorded over 300 deaths due to the coronavirus.

It had reported 380 deaths on Monday, 350 on Sunday, 357 on Saturday, 348 on Friday and 306 last Thursday, according to government data.

The national capital had recorded 24,149 cases on Tuesday, 20,201 on Monday, 22,933 on Sunday, 24,103 on Saturday, 24,331 on Friday, 26,169 last Thursday and 24,638 last Wednesday.

The positivity rate was 32.72 per cent on Tuesday, 35.02 per cent on Monday, 30.21 per cent on Sunday, 32.27 per cent on Saturday, 32.43 per cent on Friday, 36.24 per cent last Thursday -- the highest so far -- 31.28 per cent last Wednesday and 32.82 per cent last Tuesday.

The exponential rise in the cases has left people scrambling for oxygen and ICU beds in hospitals.

Every few hours last week, hospitals across the national capital and its suburbs sent out desperate messages for help on social media and other platforms, flagging their dwindling stocks of oxygen. A few of the healthcare facilities also had to knock the doors of the Delhi High Court to seek respite on the issue.

Kejriwal on Tuesday announced that his government will import 18 cryogenic tankers from Thailand and 21 ready-to-use oxygen plants from France.

Within a month, the Delhi government will set up 44 oxygen plants at various hospitals, including 21 that will be imported from France. The Centre will install eight oxygen plants by April 30, the chief minister had said.

The Delhi government will add 1,200 ICU beds by May 10, including 500 each associated with the LNJP and GTB hospitals and 200 at the Radha Soami Satsang Beas COVID centre, he had said. PTI GJS RC