As the oxygen availability in the hospitals reached critical levels yet again in Delhi, the Deputy Chief Minister and the nodal Minister for Covid management in the National Capital, Manish Sisodia shot off a letter to Union Health Minister Dr Harshvardhan giving details of the oxygen availability across various hospitals in Delhi, including six that have exhausted their oxygen.
The six hospitals, all under private management, that have completely exhausted their stock of oxygen are U K Nursing Home, Tirath Ram Shah Hospital, Shanti Mukund, Saroj Super Speciality Hospital, Santom Hospital and Rathi Hospital. Incidentally, Saroj Super Speciality Hospital also knocked on the doors of the Delhi High Court on the same issue on Thursday.
Sisodia has urged the central government to make sure that the allotted quota for Delhi reaches its hospitals so that the lives of the patients who are being treated here can be saved.
The status of oxygen supply was not robust in many other hospitals either. Among private hospitals, Sisodia informed the Union Health Minister that Holy Family Hospital has just 2.5 hours of supplies left, BLK Hospital, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Patparganj and Indraprastha Apollo Hospital had just four hours of supplies left, Venkateshwara Hospital and Balaji Action Medical Institute had five hours of oxygen supplies left, while Max Super Speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh and St Stephens had 18 hours of supplies left. Sir Gangaram Hospital, which saw a serious crisis the day before, had 20 hours of supplies left.
Among the government hospitals, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital had just four hours of oxygen supply, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Hopsital has got supply for six hours, Burari Hospital has gor for seven hours, Deep Chand Bandhu Hospital has got for eight to ten hours, GTB has for eight hours, Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital has supply for 11 hours, while Ambedkar Nagar Hospital has supplies for 24 hours.
The Delhi Deputy Chief Minister’s letter to the Union Health Minister came after the former had already held a press conference and blamed the ‘jungle raj’ in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana for the acute oxygen crisis in Delhi which could cost people their lives.
In his letter, mincing no words, Sisodia said, “You know that in Delhi Corona cases are rising sharply which has led to a sharp increase in demand for oxygen. Yesterday, the central government increased the quota for Delhi to 480 MT. However, it is with great pain and anxiety I am forced to say that some State governments have created a ‘jungle raj’ when it comes to the supply of oxygen.
Specifically naming Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, Sisodia says that especially in these two States, police officers and senior administrative officers have been deployed in oxygen plants who, to a great extent, have diverted the supplies meant for other States into their own. This, he says, is the reason why the quota allotted to Delhi by the central government is not reaching the capital.”
The Deputy Chief Minister goes on to give two examples to substantiate his charges. Air Liquid, one of the supplies for Delhi, Sisodia writes, informed him that police and senior administrative officers were present in their Panipat plant for the whole of yesterday and stalled the movement of trucks that were meant for carrying oxygen to Delhi. This led to Delhi hospitals receiving just 83 MT of oxygen instead of 140 MT and since this morning, with great difficulty just 58 MT of oxygen is on its way to various hospitals in Delhi.
After referring to Haryana, Sisodia recalled the experience of INOX in Modinagar, Uttar Pradesh. “Two days ago, police had similarly taken over the INOX plant situated in Modinagar, Uttar Pradesh and it was difficult to get the oxygen for Delhi out of the plant. Even today, M/s INOX has not been able to deliver the scheduled stock to many hospitals in Delhi. This is the reason why some hospitals have run out of oxygen, some others have a few hours of stock left and they do not know how they should treat their patients,” Sisodia’s letter said.
Of the 480 MT of oxygen that the central government has allotted for Delhi, 250 MT, that is more than 50%, has to come from Haryana and UP which is why unhindered transportation of oxygen from these two States is extremely crucial. Sisodia, separately, has asked for paramilitary forces to be deployed to ensure smooth and timely movement of trucks and tankers transporting oxygen.
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