Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday announced setting up oxygen concentrator banks in each district of the national Capital. Kejriwal also said that the Delhi government would deliver oxygen concentrators at the doorsteps of coronavirus patients in home isolation.
“If they [patients in home isolation] need oxygen, our team will provide oxygen concentrators within two hours,” he said. “A technician would also accompany the team to explain to the family how to use the oxygen concentrator.”
Kejriwal said the home delivery option was also available for residents who have recovered from the coronavirus infection but need oxygen as per the doctor’s advice.
“If someone has corona[virus] but is not part of our home isolation group, they can call on 1031 and become a part of our home isolation group and demand oxygen concentrators,” the chief minister said. “But, our team of doctors will first ensure that the patients need oxygen concentrators or not.”
After the patients have recovered, the oxygen concentrators will be taken back, sanitised and then used for other patients, he said.
Kejriwal also announced the daily coronavirus figures of the city. Delhi reported 6,500 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours and the positivity rate dropped to 11%, according to the chief minister.
“So the impact of the virus is going down slowly in Delhi,” he said, adding that government was still on strict vigil.
He said that 500 new intensive care units were set up on Friday and another 500 were prepared four days ago. “Our doctors and engineers have set up as many as 1,000 ICU beds within 15 days,” Kejriwal said, adding that they have set an example.
Cases in Delhi as well as the positivity rate are dropping gradually over the last few days. On Friday, the daily infection count in the national Capital had come down below the 10,000-mark for the first time in the last few weeks. Delhi had reported 8,500 cases on Friday. On April 30, daily cases had climbed to 27,047 and the positivity rate was 32.69%.
Delhi has been under a lockdown since April 19 due to the alarming rise in coronavirus cases in the second wave of the pandemic. In the last announcement on the restrictions, Kejriwal had extended the lockdown till May 17.
The second wave of Covid-19 has taken a toll on the city’s healthcare infrastructure, with most hospitals reporting a severe shortage of beds, medical oxygen and equipment. Multiple hospitals in the city were forced to approach courts to ensure they received supplies of oxygen to save lives of Covid-19 patients.
However, on Thursday, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that oxygen demand has fallen in the city, and told the Centre that surplus oxygen being given to the city can be supplied to other states.
Sisodia said the national Capital had a requirement of 700 metric tonnes of oxygen when the number of cases was rising. “Looking at the bed occupancy and the present [coronavirus] admitted patients, Delhi’s requirement of oxygen has come down to 582 MT,” he said.