Delhi govt to import 18 oxygen tankers from Bangkok, 21 from France: Kejriwal
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said the Delhi government has decided to import 21 ready-to-use oxygen plants from France and 18 oxygen tankers from Bangkok, to ensure a steady supply of oxygen in hospitals across the national capital.
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He thanked the Central government for allotting 5 additional oxygen tankers to Delhi and said within the next one month, the Delhi government will be installing 44 oxygen plants in Delhi, out of which 8 plants will be installed by the Central government.
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The current wave is extremely dangerous and contagious and the hospitals are overloaded, to combat the load, 1200 beds will be added in Delhi by May 10 and Ramleela Maidan is also being converted into an ICU bed centre, he added.
Kejriwal said the situation has seen improvement this week and the number of SOS messages received from hospitals has reduced due to the hard work and coordination between the Central and State governments who have spent many nights trying to overcome the oxygen shortage.
He also said many industrialists have given a positive response to his call for help but on the condition of anonymity.
Addressing a Press conference today, Kejriwal said: We are trying our level best to increase the amount of oxygen available in Delhi. It has been noted that the oxygen allotted to us by the central government is also not reaching us in its entirety. A major issue facing us today in the supply of oxygen is the shortage in the number of tankers.
“Even when we find oxygen, transporting it to Delhi becomes a problem because of this shortage of tankers. The Delhi government has decided to import 18 tankers from Bangkok which will start reaching Delhi starting tomorrow. For this, we have requested the central government to lend us the air force planes.
“Our interaction with them has been positive thus far and we have received the central government’s support on previous occasions and are hopeful of receiving their support in this as well. These 18 tankers that we receive from Thailand will aid us in the transportation of oxygen and ensure that our allotted amount reaches us. Additionally, we are importing 21 ready-to-use oxygen plants from France. These will be installed in different hospitals in Delhi ensuring a steady supply of oxygen at least in those hospitals.”
He said: “Last week, I had written letters and reached out to many CMs and Industrialists in the country, asking for aid. We have received a positive response from many of them. Most of them have only placed one condition in front of us that they wish to remain anonymous. This is an example of their nobility, to give with no ulterior aim of seeking the public’s affection. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the people and organizations that are helping us tide over these tough times – all state governments, all individual personalities, all NGOs, all social and religious organisations who have extended a hand of support in these tough times.
“We are grateful. It is only with the aid that we are receiving right now that we are being able to transport tankers from Bangkok and oxygen plants from France.”
Kejriwal said: “Last week, Thursday-Friday-Saturday was particularly critical for Delhi. Oxygen was running especially low and we were fearful of a major mishap. We spent nights trying to arrange for oxygen to aid corona patients. However, from then we have seen a major improvement. The number of SOS messages received from hospitals has reduced. I am not saying there are no SOS messages, we still receive a few each day. However, the situation has seen improvement from last week. This is because of the hard work and coordination between the Central and State government teams who have spent many nights trying to overcome the oxygen shortage in the State.
“Today morning the Central government, which is also importing a lot of tankers for transportation purposes, has allotted 5 additional tankers to Delhi. We are thankful for their help. Within the next one month, we will be installing 44 oxygen plants in Delhi. Within this, 8 plants will be installed by the central government. We hope that they will be installed by 30th April. 36 plants are being installed by the Delhi government, of which 21 are being imported from France and the remaining 15 are from within the country. They will be installed within hospitals and help us overcome oxygen shortage.”
“It has been noticed that the current wave is particularly dangerous. It is supremely contagious and those who are contracting it are not able to recover as swiftly as was noticed in the previous wave.
In these conditions, ICU wards are in great demand. Despite our best efforts, it is becoming difficult to create more ICU beds. All hospitals at this point are running over and above their real capacity, beds are full, including ICU beds,” added the CM.