Coronavirus | Hospitals should have oxygen stock for at least 48 hours, say doctors

Oxygen beds at the Yamuna Sports Complex isolation centre in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Doctors of several hospitals in Delhi said that ideally there should be a buffer stock of oxygen for at least 48 hours. But since the record surge in COVID-19 cases for the past two weeks, they have less stock and they are refilling almost on a daily basis, doctors said.

Meanwhile, a Delhi government spokesperson said that currently almost all hospitals have less than 12 hours of oxygen. The State does not have its own source of oxygen and supply comes mainly from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia appealed to the Central government to increase Delhi’s oxygen quota from 378 metric ton to 700 metric ton.

“It is a fact that supplying oxygen to people is a collaborative effort of Central and State governments. The way the Central government has supported us in the last year in terms of COVID-19, we hope that they support us in the same stride, in our demand to increase oxygen supply in Delhi. Central government should ensure States do not capture oxygen and stop supply to other States that need oxygen,” Mr. Sisodia said.

He said that State governments do not decide which State will receive how much oxygen. “Even if a State has an oxygen plant, it does not mean it will decide who will get how much oxygen. Only the Central government decides that. Today, the cases are increasing in Delhi so we are requesting for more oxygen, tomorrow if any other State feels a similar need, they will put out their request forward,” he said.

Less for Haryana

Meanwhile, Haryana Chief Secretary Vijai Vardhan told The Hindu that Haryana’s share of liquid oxygen was unilaterally reduced by the Union government from 118 MT to just 80 MT and Rajasthan too had arbitrarily stopped supply to the Post-graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Rohtak.

“The hospitals in Gurugram have a large number of patients spilled over from Delhi and even outside the country. We are managing with 70-80 MT now, but it can soon go up to 100 MT in a couple of days. It will then be difficult to manage,” said Mr. Vardhan.

He said that he had made a request to Home Secretary for a videoconference meeting with the Chief Secretaries of 5-6 affected States and find a solution to it. “This problem is going to crop up every day. One possible solution could be to airlift liquid oxygen from North-eastern States where it is in abundance. It could be expensive proposition, but can be the only solution,” said Mr. Vardhan.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 5:55:11 PM |

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