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Delhi’s Oxygen Diverted to Others Amid Shortage, Says Kejriwal

Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee sought the Centre’s intervention to curb the rising COVID-19 cases in the state.

Updated
India
3 min read
Former PM of India, Dr Manmohan Singh, had written to the PM earlier on Sunday, highlighting five suggestions on fighting the pandemic, with a specific focus on ramping up the vaccination programme.
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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has claimed that Amid the COVID crisis in the Union Territory, it’s medical oxygen supply had been diverted to other states.

Kejriwal and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday, 18 April, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the crisis in the face of a rise of COVID-19 cases in their states. Banerjee demanded for more vaccine doses for Bengal.

Their letters came after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray earlier wrote to PM Modi requesting him to declare COVID-19 a natural calamity, so the state could use the State Disaster Response Fund to provide financial assistance to affected people.

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Mamata Asks For 5.4 Cr Doses of Vaccine

In her letter, Mamata Banerjee said she was bringing up three issues of paramount importance ‘in connection with the management of the second wave of COVID in the country’.

Banerjee said she had written to the PM on 24 February to allow the state to purchase vaccines using state funds and launch a free vaccination programme, for which she never got a reply. She said ‘in the wake of a large number of outsiders coming to the state for election campaign’, the number of cases have sharply risen.

Three areas where she sought the intervention of the central government are:

  • Vaccination: The letter reads, “Unfortunately for us, the supply of vaccines from the GOI side has been scarce and erratic, which has been negatively affecting our vaccination programmes.” She said that the state government has to vaccinate around 2.7 crore people, for which it needs 5.4 crore doses.
  • Remedesvir and Tocilizumab (Actemera): The letter read these medications are scarce, which has been a matter of grave concern for doctors. “We need around 6,000 vials of Remdesvir and 1,000 vials of Tocilizumab daily. However, at present only 1,000 vials of Remdesvir are available daily and no fresh supply of Tocilizumab is coming.”
  • Oxygen: The letter states that the supply of oxygen needs to be assured and certain. “SAIL is meeting our need for the moment, and we shall be grateful if you kindly instruct them too for ensuring steady supply,” it read.

Kejriwal Asks For More Beds, Oxygen Supply

Kejriwal’s letter stated that the situation had become very serious in Delhi. “There is a severe lack of COVID beds and supply of oxygen. Almost all ICU beds are now occupied. We are trying to do whatever we can. We need your help,” he said.

Outlining what the Delhi government needed from the Centre, the letter stated:

  • More beds: Kejriwal said that of the 10,000 beds in government hospitals in Delhi, currently only 1,800 beds had been earmarked for COVID use. He requested the Centre to increase this to 7,000 beds. He added that DRDO was currently setting up 500 beds for COVID patients and requested the Central government to double this.
  • Oxygen: The Delhi CM said that there was a lack of medical oxygen supply in the city, which needed to be addressed as well.

Kejriwal also took to Twitter to claim that Delhi’s oxygen supply was being diverted by the Centre to other states while the national capital itself faced an acute shortage.

“Del facing acute shortage of oxygen. In view of sharply increasing cases, Del needs much more than normal supply. Rather than increasing supply, our normal supply has been sharply reduced and Delhi’s quota has been diverted to other states. OXYGEN HAS BECOME AN EMERGENCY IN DEL (sic),” Kejriwal tweeted.

(With inputs from ANI and The Print)

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