Delhi govt urges Centre to raise city's daily quota of medical oxygen

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New Delhi, Apr 29 (PTI) The Delhi government on Thursday said the Centre should raise the city's daily quota of medical oxygen from 490 MT to 976 MT as thousands of beds for COVID-19 patients will be ready in 10 days.

In a letter to Union minister Piyush Goyal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also urged the Centre for providing transportation facilities for bringing oxygen from the manufacturing units in other states to the national capital.

With the additional beds coming into operation, the estimated requirement of medical oxygen per day will be 976 MT in Delhi, he said.

'The people and the Government of NCT of Delhi will be extremely grateful to the Government of India if it can kindly increase the allocation from the present 490 MT per day to 976 MT per day, preferably from nearby oxygen plants, reducing the turnaround time,' Sisodia wrote to Goyal.

Delhi has been witnessing around 25,000 fresh COVID cases on a daily basis of late and about 10 per cent of the patients require some form of hospitalisation, including oxygen support, the deputy chief minister said.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the national capital is working on setting up an additional 15,000 non-ICU beds and 1,200 ICU beds within a week to 10 days, he said.

Besides, 5,000 beds are ready at the Radha Soami Satsang Beas complex in Chhatarpur, but only 300 are functional, while 1,000 beds at Sant Nirankari Mission and 1,500 at Sawan Kripal Ruhani Mission are ready but not functional due to an oxygen shortage, Sisodia said.

The additional oxygen allocation is urgently required to prevent the impending medical crisis in the wake of an unprecedented surge in COVID cases in Delhi, he added.

'It is also our humble request to provide transport infrastructure, including railways and tankers, for the additional allocation since Delhi is a non-industrial state and accordingly, does not have its own infrastructure,' the AAP leader said.

In his letter to Goyal, Sisodia stated that although Delhi's daily quota has recently been raised from 378 MT to 490 MT, yet it has not received the allocated quantity for even a single day, forcing rationing of oxygen to city hospitals.

'The additional allocation to Delhi has been made from the plants which are located more than 1,500 km from Delhi such as Durgapur, Rourkela and Kalinga Nagar,' he pointed out while saying that the additional quota should be supplied from nearby places.

Delhi does not have any oxygen plant and is dependent on plants located elsewhere in the country.

At present, there are 16,272 non-ICU oxygen beds and 4,866 ICU beds in the national capital, Sisodia said.

He requested the Centre to accommodate Delhi's demand for additional oxygen on humanitarian ground, since it has been doing so for other states.

The Delhi government will work in close coordination with the Centre and other states to overcome the present crisis, especially in augmenting the transport infrastructure of medical oxygen, the deputy chief minister said. PTI VIT RC