On Monday, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal visited an oxygen depot in Mayapuri, which is being set up to store the consignment of oxygen cylinders from China. Kejriwal told reporters that though Covid cases were on the decline in the city, Delhi government would not become lax and had, in fact, started preparations for another possible wave of infections.
It is great news that the positivity rate and the number of Covid-19 cases are down in the city. But we know that the coronavirus is shape-shifting and vicious. We also know that the only long-term solution is vaccination, which is currently happening at a snail’s pace. Which means that there’s no such thing as being over prepared to face a possible third wave.
“We are preparing depots in three places to hold 2,000 cylinders each. These cylinders can be given to individuals in need and if another wave emerges and cases rise again, then with these 6,000 cylinders we can equip 3,000 oxygen beds, with two cylinders for each bed,” he told reporters after the visit.
He disclosed that 4,400 oxygen cylinders have already been received, and the remaining 1,600 cylinders would reach the city in two to three days. Kejriwal said Delhi government faced a lot of challenges in importing the 6,000 oxygen cylinders from China because a consignment this big hadn’t been imported across India during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Both HCL and Give India Foundation have donated for this and we are very grateful to them for doing so much for the people,” Kejriwal said. “I would like to especially thank the Indian embassy in Beijing. They helped us a lot. The external affairs ministry too helped us a. If it hadn’t, I don’t know whether we’d have been able to bring the consignment to Delhi.”
Delhi government has also started an oxygen concentrator bank for the benefit of patients recovering in home isolation or who need post-recovery oxygen. The 11 revenue districts of Delhi were each given 200 oxygen concentrators to be delivered within two hours to needy individuals.
The total stock of oxygen concentrators has now grown to 2,814, with the highest number of these — 350 — in North-West district, followed by North-East (294) and South-West (270) s. While East has 200 oxygen concentrators, South and South-East have 228 each.
“Right now, the concentrators of are of 5-litre capacity,” the CM said. “But we are procuring 5,000 concentrators of 10 litres. We are also going to buy oxygen tanks and are creating storage space for the gas. The problems we faced recently are now being resolved.”
He added that if there was a need, the government would create Covid care facilities with oxygen beds like the present ones at Chhatarpur and Burari.