Delhi's ongoing oxygen crisis may soon be headed towards a resolution, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announcing on Tuesday that the state would be getting 44 new oxygen plants within the next one month. While some of these are being built by the Centre, others will be set up through the efforts of foreign countries.
The Delhi government will import 18 cryogenic tankers from Thailand and 21 ready-to-use oxygen plants from France. The Chief Minister said that the Centre has provided five oxygen tankers to Delhi. The Delhi government has urged the Centre to provide Indian Air Force aircraft for bringing the oxygen tankers from Bangkok. The tankers will start arriving in Delhi from Wednesday, he added.
Over the last few weeks, as COVID-19 cases in India rose to dizzying heights, Delhi had found itself emerging as the worst affected city. Hospitals and crematoriums began running out of space, and medical supplies dwindled to alarming lows. Over the last few days, many hospitals have stopped taking in fresh patients or sounded an urgent warning over their limited oxygen supplies.
Now however, hospitals in Delhi say that they are in a comparatively better situation in terms of supply and have reopened admissions. Several leading hospitals in the city said that the daily oxygen requirements were being met thanks to the efforts of the Delhi government, the Indian Railways and private entities. However, an official of a private hospital said the crisis is still there.
The first Oxygen Express train carrying around 70 tonnes of medical oxygen reached Delhi early this morning. Officials said that this oxygen will now be disbursed by the Delhi government to various hospitals
(With inputs from agencies)