Delhi gasps for oxygen

CM Kejriwal says the government has repeatedly appealed to the Centre to increase its oxygen quota and has also informed it that the suppliers are facing obstructions from district authorities of Haryana and UP, reports Asian Lite News.

Delhi is gasping for oxygen for a second day running as several hospitals are left with a few hours’ stock.

With the alarming surge in the number of Covid cases in the national capital, if the oxygen quota gets depleted in hospitals, Delhi will stare at a catastrophe, the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government has said in statement.

The statement came after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the “Centre has increased Delhi’s oxygen quota”.

“The Centre announced that it will supply 480 metric tonnes of oxygen to Delhi, which will take almost 72 hours to reach. The city is running out of time. A total of 140 MT of oxygen, which was supposed to reach Delhi, has not reached the capital so far,” the statement said.

It added that the Delhi government has repeatedly appealed to the Centre to increase its oxygen quota and has also informed it that the suppliers are facing obstructions from district authorities of neighbouring states like Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

The Delhi government has been demanding oxygen supply from the Centre of up to 700 MT per day. However, it received around 240 MT oxygen on Monday and 365 MT on Tuesday, according to the statement.

Lacking with its own source of oxygen, Delhi’s supply comes mainly from the neighbouring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

India records world’s highest single-day spike

Meanwhile, India reported over 3 lakh cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, the highest daily increase in infections the country has recorded in the pandemic so far. No country has recorded more cases in a single day. There were 2,104 deaths reported on the same day, another record for India. With 3,14,835 new cases, the total infections stand at 1,59,30,965. The toll, meanwhile, stands at 1,84,657.

Amid the oxygen crisis in the national capital, the Delhi High Court came down strongly on the Centre on Wednesday, saying it seemed that “human lives are not that important… for the state. Beg, borrow or steal. It is a national emergency,” the Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said. The court’s observations come as several private hospitals reached out to the Delhi government regarding depleting oxygen supplies.

“We are shocked and dismayed that the government does not seem to be seeing the reality… What is happening? Why is the government not waking up to the reality,” said the court.

“There is no sense of humanity left or what. What are we looking at… This is really, really ridiculous. You’re concerned about industries at this point of time when people are dying in thousands. One week, two weeks, your industries can wait. It is an emergency of such a grave nature,” it said.

Govt plans to import oxygen containers

India is deliberating on importing oxygen containers and equipment from friendly foreign nations to address the oxygen crisis faced by the country in the middle of the raging second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Central government is also planning to press the Indian Air Force (IAF) into airlifting oxygen containers and equipment from other nations.

“The deliberations are still on,” said a source, adding that the places from where these containers and other equipment could be airlifted have been identified.

The source said that the problem India is facing in importing oxygen is transportation due to an acute shortage of containers to carry the life-saving gas. The government is in talks with all the stakeholders in this matter.

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