Hours after Apollo Hospitals Joint Managing Director, Dr Sangita Reddy, raised her concern over oxygen supply in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday sought the support of his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar in facilitating the transport of oxygen trucks from Haryana to Delhi.
Taking to Twitter, Kejriwal said that Khattar has assured full support to Delhi over the movement of oxygen. “I spoke to Hon’ble CM of Haryana Sh Manohar Lal Khattar ji. Sought his support in facilitating the transport of oxygen trucks from Haryana to Delhi. He has assured full support,” he tweeted.
Amid a severe shortage of oxygen across the national capital, Dr Reddy had urged the Central government to declare oxygen tankers as ambulances. “Delhi is in a critical situation, tankers are stuck at the Haryana border. Request the Govt to declare oxygen tankers as ambulances and allow them to move freely,” Reddy told CNBC-TV 18.
The Delhi government is also making efforts to airlift its enhanced quota of oxygen supply from Odisha, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday, as several city hospitals reported shortage of oxygen amid rising cases of coronavirus. Kejriwal thanked the Centre and the high court for their efforts towards raising Delhi’s oxygen quota for treating COVID 19 patients, and said supplies have started reaching the national capital. He also urged the Central government and Haryana government to facilitate “smooth passage” to vehicles carrying medical oxygen to Delhi.
As the Covid-19 infections continue to rise unabated across India, Delhi’s oxygen quota was expanded by the Centre on Wednesday evening amid a severe oxygen crisis in six hospitals. Around 2,000 patients were admitted to these hospitals. The Delhi government had asked for states’ cooperation on supply after instances of tankers being blocked.
The Centre has increased Delhi’s oxygen quota from 378 MT to 500 MT. Delhi has sought 700 MT for its current need, said sources in Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party. “We welcome the hike, but even the 378 MT is not being fully met,” a party leader said.
In the past 24 hrs, Delhi has reported 24,638 fresh Covid-19 cases in 24 hours. This is almost 4,000 less cases than what was reported on Tuesday. However, while 86,526 tests counting both RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests – were conducted on Tuesday, only 78,768 were done on Wednesday. The total number of tests conducted in Delhi now stands at 1,64,84,000.