New Delhi:Delhi Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said that COVID continues to wreak havoc in the city and that public opinion favoured extending the lockdown. As a result, the CM announced that the lockdown will be extended by one week, until 3 May, Monday, 5AM. Shri Kejriwal said that the Delhi government has begun a portal for oxygen management to record the status of oxygen supply from manufacturers to hospitals every two hours; hospitals will have to give their consumption data in the last two hours and the supplier has to tell how much was supplied in that period. He said that though the Centre has increased Delhi’s oxygen quota again from 480 to 490 metric tonne, problems of access remain, and while Delhi’s requirement is 700 metric tons, what’s reaching us is only 330-335 metric tonne. He also said that Delhi has received constant support from the Central government and that both, the Delhi government and the Central government, are working tirelessly to ensure a steady supply of oxygen.
Delhi Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal in a press conference said, “Owing to the rise in COVID-19 cases, last week we had announced a 6-day lockdown in the state. Lockdown is the last resort and last measure imposed in any fight against COVID, and Delhi’s situation was such that imposing a lockdown had become necessary. However, the rise in cases has not come to a halt and they continue to climb at an alarming rate. In this context, it is the desire of the people as well that the lockdown should be extended. Therefore, we are extending it for another week, till next Monday 5AM.”
Shri Kejriwal said, “During this lockdown we observed the positivity rate touched between 36-37%. This is a new statistic for Delhi. Perhaps this has happened somewhere in the world, but we had not observed this before. The positivity rate has reduced a bit in the last 2-3 days, with the rate coming to below 30% today. This is not to say that the disease is ebbing, though that is the hope. It may increase or decrease in the coming days, but our efforts will always be directed towards controlling the spread of the virus.”
The CM further said, “Another issue Delhi faces is the shortage of oxygen. Our daily requirement of oxygen is 700 tonne, and we receive 480 tonne from the Central government. Yesterday, the Central government allotted 10 additional tonnes, increasing our share to 490 tonne of oxygen. However, even this allotment is not reaching Delhi. Yesterday, only 330-335 tonnes of oxygen reached Delhi. As a result, we are receiving only half of what we require, which is a huge impediment in the recovery of COVID-positive patients. We are working continuously towards trying to ensure oxygen reaches where it is required.”
CM Shri Kejriwal said, “I do not claim that all our efforts have reaped successful results. In some cases, we have failed, and in others, we have managed to ensure that oxygen reaches the designated destination. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who is involved in these nightlong efforts. Since our oxygen supply is limited, managing what we have is of utmost importance. Efficient management can help save lives. We have launched a portal where those involved in the supply of oxygen, from the manufacturer to the supplier and hospitals, have to give regular updates on their position, every two hours. The manufacturers will give updates on the status of the cylinders being produced, the supplier on where the trucks have reached, and hospitals on where their stock stands. This is to ensure that the Delhi government knows where shortage might be felt and is able to divert resources in that direction before time.”
Shri Kejriwal added, “We have received constant support from the Central government and both -- the Delhi government and the Central government -- are working tirelessly to ensure a steady supply of oxygen. In my opinion, the coming days should see less confusion and chaos on this matter. We are constantly working to try new avenues of sourcing oxygen over and above what the Central government is supplying.”
He said, “I have written letters to all Chief Ministers in the country and asked for aid. If their state or companies in their state have surplus oxygen, we have requested them to divert it to Delhi. The negotiation is on with some of the states. I will update you as and when we are able to secure any additional oxygen. This is an emergency situation and all of us are working together and hope we are able to successfully overcome this crisis.”