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Friday, June 18, 2021

Third Covid wave: Delhi CM says preparing for at least 37,000 cases a day

As the availability of oxygen had posed a problem in the second wave, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said it has been decided to build oxygen storage capacity of 420 metric tonnes.

Written by Mallica Joshi | New Delhi |
Updated: June 6, 2021 8:01:58 am
Delhi news, Delhi covid vaccination, Covid vaccination Delhi, delhi vaccine, delhi vaccine news, delhi vaccine update, delhi vaccine 18+, delhi vaccine stock, delhi vaccine private hospitals, delhi city news, delhi local news, delhi city Beneficiaries wait to be administered Covid-19 vaccine during a drive. (Express photo: Abhinav Saha)

Delhi is preparing for a peak of around 37,000 cases a day in case of a possible third wave of Covid-19 in the city.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that in two meetings with officers on Friday, it was decided to make base-level preparations for 37,000 cases. “If cases are more than this, we will have arrangements for that as well. All calculations for beds, ICUs, children beds, oxygen and medicines are being done on the basis of this projection. A paediatric task force has also been created for preparations for children who might fall ill. For example, out of the total ICU beds, how many should be for children will be worked out. The equipment for this will be different, such as masks for their use specifically,” he said.

Over the past two weeks, cases along with the positivity rate in Delhi have declined rapidly. On Saturday, Kejriwal said that around 400 cases with a positivity rate of 0.5 per cent had been recorded in the past 24 hours. Delhi saw a peak of over 28,000 cases on April 20.

The availability of oxygen, Kejriwal said, had posed a problem in the second wave, which has been the deadliest for the city so far.

“Hospitals were not getting oxygen, people were not getting beds, there was a lot of struggle. Ultimately, after the intervention of the Supreme Court and cooperation from the Centre, we got oxygen but till we did not, there was panic everywhere. If the next wave comes, we don’t want a similar situation again and it has been decided to build oxygen storage capacity of 420 metric tonnes. Indraprastha Gas Limited has been asked to set up a 150 tonne oxygen production plant. They have said it will take 18 months, but we have to start somewhere,” said Kejriwal.

Delhi does not have any oxygen plants as any heavy industrial activity is not allowed by orders of the National Green Tribunal. Kejriwal said the city also does not have any tankers as Delhi is not an industrial city.

“We are buying 25 tankers, and 64 small oxygen plants are being set up. The process is underway. We hope they will be ready in the next two months… We are also buying oxygen cylinders and concentrators… We are also looking at medicines and have seen that people have been sharing names of medicines on WhatsApp and then those start to go out of the market. A committee of doctors and experts will be formed and they will say whether the medicine will help in managing Covid. We will then try procuring it. If the medicine is not useful, we will start an awareness campaign about it so that people don’t run needlessly. The second thing is that a list of the important medicines has been made. We will make a buffer stock for these medicines,” the CM said.

Delhi is also in the process of setting up two genome sequencing labs, Kejriwal said.

“These labs will be set up at Lok Nayak Hospital and ILBS Hospital so that we also know about the variant in Delhi. If it is the old one or a new one,” Kejriwal said.

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