Mass cremation of COVID-19 victims at Ghazipur crematorium in New Delhi on Saturday
Mass cremation of COVID-19 victims at Ghazipur crematorium in New Delhi on Saturday

The Delhi High Court on Saturday warned the Central government that it will face contempt charges if Delhi does not get enough oxygen supply. The Delhi government on Saturday had blamed the Centre saying ‘oxygen has become an ego issue”. The HC directed the Centre to ensure Delhi receives 490 MT oxygen on Saturday by any means. The HC told the Centre: "Now the water has gone above our head. Enough is enough. You made an allocation of oxygen to Delhi, you fulfill it."

The HC rap comes at a time when four more patients died in Delhi's Batra Hospital due to a shortage of oxygen on Saturday, taking the death toll to 12, said an official. "Fatalities climbed up to 12. One of our senior doctors has also lost his battle to COVID. I am hoping and praying this situation does not occur again with our hospital or any other hospital over the next few days or ever again," Dr Sudhanshu Bankata, Executive Director, Batra Hospital told ANI.

India on Saturday reported over 4,00,000 fresh Covid-19 cases for the first time as the tally crossed 19 million-mark, according to Union health ministry’s data. As the national capital continues to grapple with surge in Covid-19 cases and oxygen shortage, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday extended the lockdown by another week. The CM confirmed that Delhi has received 4.5 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines. The state will start inoculating people between 18 to 44 years of age from May 3.

Kejriwal said in a tweet that the lives of the patients could have been saved and demanded that Delhi should be given its quota of oxygen. He said Delhi needs 976 tonnes oxygen but only 312 tonnes oxygen was provided yesterday. “This news is very painful. Their lives could have been saved by giving them oxygen on time. Delhi should be given its quota of oxygen. The deaths of our own people cannot be seen anymore. Delhi requires 976 tonnes of oxygen and yesterday only 312 tonnes of oxygen was given. How should Delhi breathe in such low oxygen?" Kejriwal said.

Hospitals in the national capital are grappling with an acute shortage of oxygen due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Delhi recorded 375 COVID-19 deaths and over 27,000 new cases with a positivity rate of 32.69 per cent on Friday. It was the ninth consecutive day the city saw daily fatalities of over 300.

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