Delhi has about 24,000 new coronavirus cases on Saturday and was facing an acute shortage of hospital beds, life-saving drugs and medical oxygen amid the second wave of the pandemic, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said. His statement came a few hours before the Capital city usually releases its daily coronavirus data.

“The situation is very serious, it is very concerning,” Kejriwal said at a press briefing. “In one day, cases have risen from 19,500 to 24,000. The positivity rate is over 24%.”

The chief minister said that although hospital beds available in Delhi were limited at the moment, the government planned to add about 6,000 beds in the next three to four days. “We are not just planning to increase the beds, but to also increase supplies of medical oxygen, so that serious Covid-19 patients are well taken care of,” Kejriwal added.

About 13,000 oxygen beds are being arranged in the Yamuna Sports Complex Covid facility, the chief minister said. “Similarly, at Radha Soami Satsang Beas, 2,500 beds will be arranged in the next few days,” he added. “So, as we escalate the number of beds in the next few days, the biggest target will be to augment beds with oxygen.”

Kejriwal said “no one knows when the peak” of the pandemic will come, but that “this Covid wave is thrice as dangerous as previous one”, according to PTI. He added that since the cases are rising at an unprecedented rate, the government was also facing shortages of oxygen, Tocilizumab, and Remdesivir.

“I have requested the Centre to augment oxygen support system and Remdesivir supply,” he said. “I have also requested the Union health minister to reserve at least 50 % beds for Covid patients in Centre-run hospitals in Delhi.”

Kejriwal said the government will take action against those who are selling drugs like Remdesivir in the black market.

“We are receiving complaints that some labs are taking two to three days to give Covid reports,” he added. “Strict action will also be taken against such labs that are not giving reports within 24 hours.”