New Delhi: To prepare the health system for a possible third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Delhi, which faced an acute shortage of medical oxygen to cater to the huge number of daily patients during the second wave, has started as many as 27 oxygen plants so far.
Out of the total, 22 oxygen plants with a combined capacity of 17 metric tonnes were installed in 9 different hospitals on Saturday. To ensure adequate oxygen storage, 13 more oxygen plants will be installed in different healthcare centres by July.
“During the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, which actually for Delhi was the fourth wave, the city faced difficulties in getting oxygen supply. Delhi is not an industrial state and it has no oxygen production units. We had to be dependent on other states. Delhi does not even have oxygen supplying tankers. We have learned from our mistakes in the last wave and have decided to prepare for a third wave at every step,” said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday.
Addressing the gathering during the inauguration of 22 oxygen plants in 9 nine hospitals on Saturday, Kejriwal said the Central government has provided 6 oxygen plants to Delhi and all of them have been made operational. “I would also thank the Central government for helping the Delhi government in improving oxygen supply during the second of pandemic. The central government has installed 6 oxygen plants and 7 more will be set up soon,” Kejriwal said.
The demand for medical oxygen in the national capital during the second wave of the pandemic surged up to 700 metric tonnes per day due to the unprecedented number of daily Covid patients in a critical stage. In normal times, Delhi’s daily average medical oxygen consumption is around 150-200 metric tonnes per day.
The Chief Minister informed that three oxygen storage facilities with a capacity of 57 metric tonnes each were set up two days back. “Delhi does not have an oxygen storage system and we do not want to take Delhi to the same situation again, if a third wave comes. The Delhi government is preparing for a third wave in full swing.”
He said Delhi has faced four waves of the Covid pandemic since last year. During the first, the highest number of daily cases were reported to be around 4500, during the second wave which came during September last year, the highest daily cases were around 6000. During the third wave, daily cases were 8500 and during the fourth wave they crossed 28000.