Delhi CM Asks for Spare Oxygen; ‘Don’t Be a Cry Baby’, Says Centre

Delhi has been reporting over 20,000 cases, placing tremendous pressure on hospitals’ oxygen supplies.

2 min read
File image of Arvind Kejriwal.

Amid a crippling shortage of oxygen supply in hospitals across the national capital, Delhi Chief Minster Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday, 24 April, sent out an SOS to all chief ministers seeking their help to resolve the crisis by diverting any spare oxygen to the UT.

"I am writing to all CMs requesting them to provide oxygen to Delhi, if they have spare. Though the Central govt. is also helping us, the severity of corona is such that all available resources are proving inadequate," the Chief Minister tweeted.

Delhi has been reporting over 20,000 cases for the past few days, which has put tremendous pressure on the oxygen supply and bed capacity of hospitals.

Kejriwal at a press conference on Thursday stated that the UT required 700 tonnes of medical oxygen every day to sustain the demand. Its currently being supplied with only 480 tonnes of the life-saving gas.

Several hospitals like Max, Apollo, Stephens, Sri Ganga Ram, Fortis, have reported dwindling oxygen supplies, with many just relying on a few hours of oxygen and waiting for the re-supply to come in time.

‘Don’t Be a Cry Baby’: Centre on Delhi Oxygen Crisis

In a tense exchange in Delhi High Court on Saturday between the Centre and the Delhi government over the supply of oxygen amid an accelerating second wave, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, on behalf the central government, brushed aside Delhi’s woes.

The Delhi government sought a detailed reply from the Centre with clear details of oxygen allocation and supply schedule.

However, SG Mehta didn’t consider Delhi government’s comments, specifically regarding the Centre’s inaction.

"I know my responsibility. I know many things but not saying anything. Let's try and not be a cry baby," Mr Mehta said in response to Delhi government lawyer Rahul Mehra's complaint that the Centre was not complying with the guidelines on oxygen allocation.

The Delhi HC also directed the Delhi government to ensure the procurement of cryogenic tankers so that oxygen can be easily transported to Delhi in a timely manner.

In order to ensure transparency and accountability, the Division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli further directed all the oxygen suppliers to give complete details as to how much oxygen is being supplied to each hospital.

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