Delhi recorded 24,638 fresh COVID-19 cases and 249 deaths due to the viral disease on Wednesday while the positivity rate stood at 31.28 per cent, meaning almost every third sample tested positive.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said that the city government is making efforts to airlift oxygen from Odisha to enhance quota of medical oxygen amid worsening Covid-19 situation. Addressing the media on the prevailing situation in the national capital, Kejriwal said that the Centre has helped the city government in the last two-three days and assured smooth supply of oxygen. He also thanked the Centre for raising the city’s oxygen quota. 

“Delhi is facing Oxygen crisis for past few days. Centre fixes Oxygen quota for all states. As per Delhi government’s estimate, the city needs 700 tons/day, Centre had fixed it to 378 tons earlier and increased it to 480 tons yesterday. We need more but we’re thankful to them for this,” he said.

Kejriwal said that in Delhi’s increased quota, Oxygen is scheduled to come from Odisha too. “So it will take some time for Oxygen to reach Delhi. We are making an effort to see if we can bring Oxygen from there by air route,” he said.

Centre also allots companies that will supply oxygen to a particular state, he said, adding that Delhi doesn’t produce Oxygen and supply is done by other states.

“Some of the governments in whose states these companies are, had stopped the supply that was to come to Delhi from these companies. Governments said that they will use Oxygen in their states first, use Delhi’s quota too and that they will not let trucks come to Delhi. But I would like to thank Centre and Delhi High Court that they helped us a lot in last 2-3 days. Due to this, Oxygen has started reaching Delhi,” the CM said.

Kejriwal added that the city government has taken several steps to increase the medical infrastructure in the city in the last two days and it will be increased in the coming days.  

Several private and government hospitals in the national capital are running low on medical oxygen for COVID-19 patients. Although the Centre raised the national capital’s oxygen quota from 378 metric tonnes to 480 metric tonnes on Wednesday, several hospitals are struggling to replenish oxygen supply. While some big healthcare facilities received fresh stock overnight, small hospitals have been grappling with a shortage of oxygen supply amid spiralling COVID-19 cases.

According to the Delhi government’s statement, on Monday and Tuesday, around 240 MT and 365 MT of oxygen was supplied to Delhi against the requirement of 700 MT per day. Since Delhi does not have its own source of oxygen, the capital’s supply comes from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

The statement added that with the alarming surge in the number of Covid cases in the national capital, if the oxygen quota gets depleted in hospitals, Delhi will stare at a catastrophe.

It added that the Delhi government has repeatedly appealed to the Centre to increase its oxygen quota and has also informed it that the suppliers are facing obstructions from district authorities of neighbouring states like Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Delhi recorded 24,638 fresh COVID-19 cases and 249 deaths due to the viral disease on Wednesday while the positivity rate stood at 31.28 per cent, meaning almost every third sample tested positive, amid a growing clamour for oxygen and hospital beds in the citY

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