New Delhi, Apr 20 (PTI) The national capital Tuesday faced a 'serious oxygen crisis' and acute shortage of ICU beds as the Delhi government warned that there will be an outrage if sufficient quantity does not reach health facilities by Wednesday morning, saying oxygen is available only for the next 8-12 hours in most hospitals treating COVID-19 patients.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal requested the central government with 'folded hands' to urgently provide oxygen to the national capital.
His deputy Manish Sisodia also said the Delhi government was getting SOS calls on shortage of oxygen from all hospitals and asked the Centre to be 'sensitive and active' in handling the situation so that there is no 'jungle raj' among states over the supply.
Sisodia, who is also nodal minister for COVID-19 management, said that for the last one week, the AAP government has been demanding that Centre increase the oxygen supply quota to Delhi.
Meanwhile, the home ministry said it is making all efforts to smoothen the supply lines of oxygen to Delhi to deal with the shortage of medical oxygen in the capital's hospitals.
Only 30 ICU beds were available for coronavirus patients in hospitals across the national capital by 8 pm, according to data from the city government's Delhi Corona application.
There was no ICU bed for coronavirus patients in around 120 hospitals, including LNJP Hospital, Rajeev Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, Ganga Ram Hospital, Max SS Hospital (Shalimar Bagh), Indraprastha Apollo Hospital (Sarita Vihar) and Fortis Escort Heart Institute (Okhla), official data available on the app showed. However, there were 2,695 normal beds available.
Kejriwal Monday announced a six-day lockdown till 5 am on April 26 to deal with the rising number of cases, saying that the city's health system was stretched to its limit.
Despite around 25,500 cases coming up every day, it is still functioning, he had said, adding that but any system has its limit, The chief minister had Sunday termed the shortage of oxygen for coronavirus patients an 'emergency'. He had also written to Union Minister of Commerce and Industries Piyush Goyal, seeking his intervention in the matter.
'Serious oxygen crisis persists in Delhi... Some hospitals are left with just a few hours of oxygen,' the chief minister tweeted on Tuesday.
In another tweet he said, 'I urge the Central government with folded hands to urgently provide oxygen to Delhi.' Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said they have just eight hours of oxygen left. The hospital has 485 COVID beds, of which 475 are occupied. Around 120 patients are currently in the ICU.
Its chairman D S Rana said, '6,000 cubic meters of it is left, which at the rate of current consumption will last till 1 am. Need urgent replenishment.' Sisodia said that major Delhi government-run hospitals like DDU, Burari, Ambedkar, Deep Chandu Bandhu, Sanjay Gandhi and Acharya Bikshu have oxygen supply for the next 8-12 hours only.
According to him, oxygen stock status for several private hospitals -- B L Kapoor, Batra, Venkateshwar, Stephane's, Gangaram and Max (Patpargunj -- was only for 4-18 hours.
'In most hospitals in Delhi, oxygen is available for the next 8 to 12 hours only. We have been demanding for the one week to increase the oxygen supply quota to Delhi, which the central government has to do. If oxygen does not reach the hospitals in sufficient quantity by tomorrow morning, there will be an outcry,' Sisodia tweeted in Hindi.
On Monday, the Delhi government set up a 24-member committee to ensure 'rational' use of oxygen for treatment of COVID-19 patients. An order issued by the Health Department said the 'Oxygen Audit Committee' will identify areas of wasteful consumption.
The consumption of oxygen has undergone a quantum increase with the admission of a large number of serious patients who require oxygen support, it said.
Sisodia on Tuesday said the Centre should be 'sensitive and active' in handling the situation so that there is no clamour among states over its supply.
'Getting SOS calls on shortage of oxygen from all hospitals. People involved in supplying oxygen are being stopped at different states. To ensure that there no 'jungle raj' among states over supply of oxygen, the Central government should be very sensitive and active to handle the situation,' he tweeted in hindi.
Meanwhile, the Indian Army said it is converting its base hospital in Delhi to an exclusive COVID-19 facility for armed forces personnel as well as veterans.
This facility will be available for COVID-19 patients from Thursday, it said on Twitter.
The Army said on Twitter, 'Base Hospital Delhi Cantt BHDC is being converted into an exclusive COVID-19 facility for Indian armed forces and veterans with effect from April 22, 2021.' 'All OPDs (out patient department) will shift and function at Army Hospital Research and Referral (AHRR) with effect from April 22,' it added.
The Delhi Police on Tuesday helped a hospital in south Delhi to get the supply of oxygen cylinders, officials said.
A senior police officer said on Tuesday, a PCR call was received at 4.20 pm at Neb Sarai police station.
'Thereafter, police reached Nidaan Hospital, Devli Bandh Road where Dr Raksha stated that the hospital's oxygen stock has exhausted and the replacement oxygen cylinder have not been received from the supplier at Badarpur,' Deputy Commissioner of Police (south) Atul Kumar Thakur said. PTI GVS MG MAH BUN ZMN