COVID: Monitor oxygen refilling centres round the clock: Delhi govt to district magistrates

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New Delhi, May 1 (PTI) The Delhi government has directed all district magistrates to monitor medical oxygen refilling centres round the clock to ensure its supply to genuine patients and hospitals amid a severe shortage of the life saving gas in the city.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) in its order on April 28, asked the district magistrates to ensure that medical oxygen is sold strictly following licence conditions to authorised users.

Twelve COVID 19 patients died at Batra hospital after the facility ran out of medical oxygen for around 80 minutes on Saturday afternoon, while several other hospitals in the national capital reported precipitous drop in their oxygen stocks and sent out desperate messages of help to save serious patients admitted there.

'Regarding the requirements of hospitals, ambulances etc, the medical oxygen retailing: refilling units will mandatorily check ID card of the person receiving the oxygen, authorisation letter from the institution for which the oxygen is being sought and record the type and number of cylinders refilled,' it said. For medical oxygen prescribed by registered doctors for COVID-19 patients, the retailer will sell it after checking doctor's prescription, ID cards of patient and the person receiving the oxygen, stated the order.

Medical oxygen cannot be sold in market without prescription. It is necessary to prevent any hoarding and pilferage of it, said DDMA.

The authority has also asked authorities to manage crowds at refilling establishments to ensure COVID appropriate behaviour as well as law and order.

All the district magistrates will send a consolidated 24 hourly daily report (12:00 midnight to 12:00 midnight) of their district the next day by 11:00 am to the designated authorities, it added.

The Centre and the Delhi government has indulged in a blame game over the oxygen crisis, with both shifting responsibility on each other.

The Arvind Kejriwal government has been charging the Centre of providing less than its designated quota of medical oxygen. It has also asked the Centre to raise its daily quota from 490 MT to 976 MT.

The central government has alleged that the Delhi government failed to arrange cryogenic tankers for transportation of oxygen for hospitals in the city. PTI VIT TDS TDS TDS