Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has asked hospitals to increase the number of beds reserved for Covid patients as the city received 730 metric tonnes (MT) of oxygen on Wednesday.

Several hospitals, including the Delhi government-run GTB Hospital and Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, had reduced the number of beds offered to Covid patients as they reported a reduced oxygen supply and said they were unable to cater to patients with their current supply.

“Many hospitals had reduced their beds during this time because of oxygen shortage. Our effort has to be increase, and not reduce beds, otherwise it will result in chaos. I request all hospitals to increase their beds again and I am hoping we will get 700 MT oxygen daily. Many private hospitals had also told us that they can earmark more beds if they get a set regular supply. This could mean around 2,000 more oxygen beds. I hope these hospitals will now augment their facilities so that more people can be saved,” the CM said.

The Delhi government and the Centre have been locked in a bitter battle in the High Court and Supreme Court over the past weeks as city
hospitals reeled under a shortage of medical oxygen. While the Delhi government flagged supply as the main issue, the Centre said Delhi was unable to effectively transport and distribute the oxygen allocated to it.

Kejriwal also said the government is working on setting up another 9,000 oxygen beds in facilities such as the Radha Soami Beas centre in Chhattarpur now that it has got adequate supply. “I promise you no one will die for the lack of oxygen if we get 700 MT daily,” he said.

He also appealed to the Centre to ensure that the city continues to get 700 MT oxygen daily to ensure that operations in hospitals and Covid centres run smoothly.

“I thank the Centre, High Court and Supreme Court for this. It is because of their efforts that we have managed to control the situation. But this supply should not just be for a day. Till the second wave abates, we need 700 MT daily. I hope it doesn’t happen that we get 400 MT tomorrow,” he said.

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