More than 63,000 beds can be created for Covid patients if cases go up: Arvind Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said that around 63,800 beds can be created for Covid-19 patients on a ‘short notice’ if a third wave of the pandemic hits.
During a web address, after holding a meeting with officials of health, revenue and other departments to review the Covid situation in view of the threat posed by the Omicron variant of the virus, Kejriwal said that the position of hospital beds, medicines, oxygen, testing and vaccination have been discussed.
“Last time, we had around 25,000 beds after we started temporary facilities. This time, we already have arrangements in place for 30,000 oxygen beds. Of these, 10,000 will be ICU beds. Another 6,800 ICU beds are being prepared and these will be ready by February. In addition to this, we have made preparations to set up 100 beds per municipal ward on a two-week notice. This will give us an additional 27,000 beds. In total, we can have around 63,800 beds ready in a small amount of time,” he said.
The second wave of the pandemic saw a sharp shortage of beds with oxygen support in hospitals and clinics, as well as in temporary facilities set up by the Centre and the state government. At the end of April, Delhi saw upwards of 25,000 cases a day on several occasions, peaking at 28,000 cases in a single day.
Several people died outside hospitals after they failed to get beds with oxygen support and medical attention on time. Oxygen, too, was in short supply, with at least two hospitals saying that patients admitted in the Covid ward had died because of the lack of oxygen.
Kejriwal said that since the second wave, the capacity to store and produce oxygen has gone up in the city.
“Oxygen was a big issue during the last wave. Now, there is a capacity to store around 750 MT medical oxygen hospitals. Last time, we say that there was no space to store oxygen that was not immediately supplied to hospital. Now, apart from hospitals, we have storage capacity of 442 MT,” he said.
He added, “Previously, Delhi did not have its own oxygen plants. Now, PSA plants at hospitals create 121 MT of liquid medical oxygen. We also saw that in a few cases, hospitals took more oxygen than their allotment. Now, we will place telemetry devices on all tanks and storages. Data will be fed to the war room on details of each storage tank and when oxygen is about to run out,” he said.
Delhi also has 6,000 D type oxygen cylinders and is placing orders for 15 oxygen tankers for transportation.
Two months’ worth of buffer stock of 32 medicines required for treatment is being ordered, the CM said, adding that personnel are being trained for the temporary set-up that will be created if necessary.