The Delhi government has placed an order for 1.2 lakh personal protective equipment (PPE) kits over the past few weeks. Of these, close to 3,000 are delivered each day, said officials in the Delhi government.
On Monday, the Centre also provided 27,000 kits to the state.
The availability of PPE kits has been a worry for healthcare workers and state governments, especially as 34 doctors, nurses and other hospital staff have so far tested positive for COVID-19 in the capital.
“The Centre has written to us saying that Delhi has been allotted 27,000 kits. The kits will be delivered by tomorrow or the day after. We thank the Union government for this. It will be an important step towards the safety of our doctors,” said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
On April 4, he had told reporters that the Delhi government wrote to the Centre on April 3 seeking PPE kits to meet the shortfall.
Last month, Kejriwal had held a meeting with heads of all Delhi government hospitals and asked them to place orders for PPE kits as well as ventilators. The paperwork for funding would be expedited, he had said.
He had also appealed to the Centre for help in procuring more kits, which include full body suits, visors, goggles, masks, gloves and shoe covers.
Dr S K Sarin, who heads the Delhi government’s expert committee on COVID-19, told The Indian Express: “If we look at the projections for the number of cases per day that had been made, we are still at the first stage — when we are getting less than 100 cases a day. As of now, we are admitting all COVID-19 patients but if you look at the data, not all will need hospitalisation. Eighty percent can self-isolate and will not require hospitalisation. But let us say that there are 100 patients admitted, around 300 PPE kits per day will be needed for their care and another 200 for allied activities such as testing, disposal of waste and disposal of bodies, etc.”
He also said that Delhi has enough ventilators for the case load at the moment.
“Only 2.3% of those admitted require ventilator support, data has shown. Another 5% require care in ICU. In Delhi, there are 306 ventilators in government hospitals and 800 in private hospitals. Even if the load increases suddenly, there is capacity. More capacity is being built,” said Dr Sarin.
As of Monday, eight people are on ventilator support.
Meanwhile, East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir tweeted that he was willing to contribute Rs 1 crore to the Delhi government from his MPLAD fund to procure kits.
“CM Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy say funds are needed. Though their massive egos didn’t allow them to take Rs 50 lakh from my LAD fund earlier, I pledge Rs 50 lakh more so that innocents don’t suffer,” Gambhir tweeted.
Kejriwal responded: “Gautam ji, thank you for your offer. The problem is not of money but availability of PPE kits. We would be grateful if you could help us get them from somewhere immediately, Delhi government will buy them. Thank you.”
Gambhir later tweeted that Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had earlier claimed there was a shortage of funds. Sisodia had written to the Centre two days ago, saying it was “unfortunate” that the Delhi government had not been allocated money from the Centre for combating the disease.
Gambhir also said he had managed to procure 1,000 kits.
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