Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet experts on Sunday to review the situation of oxygen and medicine availability as the country reels under a raging second wave of coronavirus.
The meeting comes at a time when the Delhi high court directed the Centre to supply 490 metric tonnes of allocated oxygen to the national capital on Saturday itself, or face contempt.
“Do you mean we will shut our eyes to the people dying in Delhi. We mean business. Water has gone above the head,” it asked the Centre. The top court said the government had made an allocation of oxygen to Delhi and should fulfil it.
The PM will also assess the human resource situation in view of the pandemic and ways to augment it.
The court said the government had made an allocation of oxygen to Delhi and should fulfill it. The direction came even as 12 Covid-19 patients, including the head of the gastroenterology department, of Batra Hospital in Delhi, died allegedly due to oxygen shortage.
“Once a patient is pushed beyond the edge without the support of oxygen, it is very difficult to revive him as he is hanging in the balance. Unfortunately, we are expecting more fatalities,” said Sudhanshu Bankata, the executive director of the hospital.
“In the next 24-48 hours, the death rate will be higher than the average we had over the past few days. All the patients, who were destabilized during the one hour and 20 minutes of oxygen not being there will also be compromised,” he said.
The hospital had sent out an SOS message about oxygen shortage on Saturday.
Bankata said that Delhi was not getting its allocated amount of oxygen and the problem was aggravated on Saturday as the government did not have a reserve tanker.
“The entire cycle will play out again because Delhi does not have its quota of oxygen. The same crisis will play out over and over again,” he said, adding, “We have oxygen support till 8-9 am tomorrow but we don’t know when the next supply will arrive.”
Following this, the Centre on Saturday raised the national capital’s daily quota of life-saving gas to 590 metric tonnes from 490 MT.
According to the Union health ministry, Delhi will get an additional 75 metric tonne of oxygen from LINDE Kalinganagar and 25 MT from JSW BPSL Jharsuguda (Odisha).
However, official records indicate that Delhi had got 305 metric tonnes of oxygen on 25 April, followed by 408 MT on 26 April; 398 MT on 27 April; 431 MT on 28 April and 409 MT on 29 April.