Two PM CARES-funded medical oxygen plants have been installed at AIIMS, New Delhi, and RML Hospital in a week. This will help the national capital in meeting the medical oxygen requirement at a time Covid-19 is rising at an unprecedented pace across the country.
Delhi government has slammed the Centre for not providing enough medical oxygen even as patients die because of a shortage of oxygen. Delhi has been receiving about 490 MT medical oxygen from the Centre against the Kejriwal government's demand of 976 metric tonnes of oxygen.
The Centre has said these two plants were installed in record time. "Carried out on a war footing, the two plants were swiftly airlifted from Coimbatore and installed yesterday. Both the plants will start supplying oxygen by today evening," a health ministry statement said.
PM CARES recently allocated funds for the installation of 500 medical oxygen plants across the country. These plants are planned to be set up in 3 months. In all, five high flow medical oxygen plants will be installed at AIIMS Trauma Centre, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML), Safdarjung Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College, and AIIMS, Jhajjar, Haryana.
Delhi, like many other cities of India, has been grappling with the shortage of oxygen and insufficient beds as Covid-19 cases continue to rise. Hospitals in Delhi are sending SOS calls to authorities about their dwindling oxygen stocks.
Just two weeks before, 20 coronavirus patients had died at Jaipur Golden Hospital and 25 patients at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital due to the shortage of oxygen. The situation is no different in many other hospitals of the national capital.
On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court directed the Centre to show cause as to why "contempt" should not be initiated against it for failing to comply with the order on the supply of oxygen to Delhi for treating COVID-19 patients. "You can put your head in the sand like an ostrich, we will not," the high court told in a stern warning to the Centre.
The Centre on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court against the HC notice, which was issued over the non-compliance of the SC's May 2 order that directed the Centre to rectify the issue of shortage of medical oxygen in Delhi hospitals on or before midnight of May 3.
The Allahabad HC also observed the death of COVID-19 patients just for the non-supply of oxygen to hospitals is a criminal act, "not less than a genocide" by authorities entrusted the task to ensure oxygen supply chain is maintained.
Meanwhile, India reported 3,82,315 new cases and the highest 3,780 deaths in the last 24 hours. Ten states including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Haryana, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan report 70.91 per cent of the new cases.
Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 51,880, followed by Karnataka with 44,631 and Kerala with 37,190 new cases. India's total active caseload has reached 34,87,229, which is 16.87 per cent of India's total positive cases.