Delhi Govt. ramps up health facilities amid Omicron scare

Arvind Kejriwal   | Photo Credit: -

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said he was personally monitoring the COVID-19 situation to ensure that Delhi was well equipped for any incoming threat related to the Omicron variant.

Mr. Kejriwal chaired a high-level meeting with all authorities concerned to review the city’s preparedness against the new threat and the status of preparedness to deal with it.

“Today, I held a meeting with all departments concerned to discuss and assess the preparations and took note of the status of facilities available,” Mr. Kejriwal told a digital briefing.

Beds, oxygen supply

He said, “The discussion covered the number of beds available, the number of beds needed additionally, testing rates and requirements, oxygen requirement, vaccination status, ICU requirement, manpower and the like.”

As far as beds were concerned, he said the bed capacity in hospitals had been increased to 25,106 during the second wave of COVID in May 2021. The Government has now arranged for 30,000 oxygen beds, of which around 10,000 are ICU beds.

Additionally, he said 6,800 ICU beds will be ready by February 2022, which will bring the capacity of ICU beds to around 17,000. Besides this, he said the Government had planned its preparations in such a way that it would be able to arrange 100 oxygen beds in every municipal ward at two weeks’ notice.

Medicine stock

“Hence, for 270 wards, 27,000 oxygen beds can be arranged at short notice. This brings us to a total of 63,800 beds, which we have prepared or are in the process of being prepared. All the manpower that will be needed for this is currently being trained,” he said.

“There are 32 kinds of medicines which are required to treat COVID-19 patients. A two-month buffer stock of these medicines is being ordered to avoid shortage. Home isolation arrangements are also being actively made,” he said.

To deal with storage and distribution-related problems of oxygen, Mr. Kejriwal said, the Government had constructed extra storage facilities of 442 MT as well as PSA plants to produce oxygen within the State and not rely on supply from outside.

“Over 120 MT oxygen is being produced within Delhi. This way we will avoid the oxygen crisis which we faced during the second wave,” he said.

“Previously, spare capacity to store oxygen, in addition to oxygen cylinders with pre-existing beds, were not present in Delhi. To solve this, 6,000 D-type empty cylinders have been imported from China to supply beds with oxygen as and when needed. Through this, oxygen beds can be arranged in non-hospital areas very easily,” he added.

According to Mr. Kejriwal, the current status of vaccination in Delhi was “good” with 93% of its people having received their first dose and 57% having received the second dose as well. He appealed to citizens whose second dose was due to come forward and complete their vaccination.

Testing at airport

“I hope that Omicron virus does not affect India and that we avoid a third wave. But in the unfortunate case that we have to deal with it again, we are ready,” he said.

The Delhi Government has decided to intensify testing at IGI Airport, the Chief Minister said. Passengers are being screened as per the guidelines of the Government of India, but, from December 1, new guidelines will be implemented.

These include testing, isolation and quarantine of passengers.

“Passengers will not face any inconvenience in taking the test report and mobile vans will be placed to test and give them the reports in time so that passengers do not have to stay for long at the airport,” the Chief Minister said.

34 new infections

Meanwhile, the Capital reported no new COVID-19-related death in 24 hours and the total number of deaths stood at 25,098, as per a bulletin released by the Delhi Government on Tuesday. Thirty-four new cases were reported, taking the total cases to 14,40,934.

A total of 46,800 tests were done in a day and the test positivity rate (TPR) stood at 0.07%.

Of the total cases, 14,15,549 people have recovered and there are 287 active cases.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 12:48:49 PM |

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