Delhi govt claims not enough oxygen supply coming from Centre for COVID-19 patients

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New Delhi, Apr 28 (PTI) The Delhi government on Wednesday claimed that it is not receiving the oxygen quantity allocated to it by the Centre following the upsurge in COVID-19 cases even as an official order has been issued to allot a detailed proportion of the supply of the life-saving gas to hospitals.

'We received 402 metric tonnes of oxygen yesterday and the day before that 408 metric tonnes. We have been allocated the share of 480 metric tonnes on April 21st and 490 metric tonnes on April 25th, but it is hardly reaching us in that quantity. Presently, the allocation is happening keeping in mind the number of ICU beds and non-ICU oxygen beds,' the AAP dispensation claimed in a statement.

The government has been allocated 490 MT of oxygen and has worked out a 'detailed allocation of oxygen' to the hospitals on the basis of bed capacity and requirement of oxygen for ICU and non-ICU beds, an official order said.

The order said the allocation has been worked out based on the 'standards for calculation for requirement of oxygen for ICU/non ICU beds and the hospital bed capacity'.

'It is clarified that the allocation has been done based on 490 MT of oxygen allocation made to government of Delhi. However, the actual supply of oxygen to the hospitals shall be subject to the actual delivery of oxygen in Delhi, which is seen to be lower than the allocated quantity,' the order issued on April 25 said.

The calculations for requirement of oxygen for ICU/non ICU beds has been done according to these standards -- 10 litre/minute of oxygen supply to a non-ICU bed and 24 litre/minute to an ICU bed.

The order also stated that 'the demand and supply of oxygen is dynamic/evolving and subject to change as per the allotment to Delhi and requirement and availability of the number of Covid facilities, ICU beds, non-ICU beds and the actual delivery of oxygen'.

'The supplier allocation in the 490 MT order for Delhi has necessitated changes in the existing suppliers to hospitals due to the capacity allocated to specific manufactures/suppliers. Therefore to maintain smooth distribution to pre-existing arrangements with hospitals, the suppliers may also pick up oxygen from any other manufacturer allotted to Delhi within the overall quota of such manufacturer,' it said.

Hospitals that use oxygen cylinders may receive supply against the allocation provided in this order either through their refiller plant or any other direct or indirect arrangement with allotted manufactures and suppliers, it added.

The exponential rise in cases have left people scrambling for medical oxygen and ICU beds in hospitals in Delhi.

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

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced 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, Kejriwal had said.

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 Delhi has recorded over 300 deaths due to coronavirus.

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

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

The positivity rate was 35.02 per cent on Monday, 30.21 on Sunday, 32.27 per cent on Saturday, 32.43 on Friday, the highest so far with 36.24 on Thursday, 31.28 on Wednesday and 32.82 on Tuesday. PTI GJS SLB HDA