Coronavirus pandemic

Less than 100 ICU beds vacant in Delhi hospitals, situation worsening: Kejriwal

CM writes to PM Modi, seeks adequate beds and supply of oxygen for Covid patients

New Delhi, April 18

Over 25,000 people have tested COVID-19 positive in the last 24 hours in Delhi and less than 100 ICU beds remain available in hospitals, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday, delivering more bad news in an unprecedented public health crisis sweeping not just the capital but the entire nation. 

Pointing out that the positivity rate has gone up from 24 per cent to 30 per cent in just 24 hours, he said due to fast pace in increase of COVID-19 infections, hospital beds and oxygen for patients are rapidly depleting in the city. 

Also read: Delhi records over 25,000 new COVID-19 cases, 161 deaths in a day

COVID-19 surge: Delhi CM asks civic bodies to increase beds, boost medical infra in their hospitals 

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Terming the COVID-19 situation in the National Capital “very serious”, Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, seeking help for beds and oxygen for coronavirus patients.

Kejriwal also requested the Prime Minister for reserving at least 7000 central government hospital beds out of the 10,000 in Delhi for COVID patients, and immediate supply of oxygen.

“The COVID situation has become very serious in Delhi. There is huge shortage of beds and oxygen. I request that at least  7,000 out of 10,000 beds in Central government hospitals in Delhi be reserved for COVID patients and oxygen be immediately provided in Delhi,” he wrote.

“We are making all efforts at our level. Your help is needed,” he added.

He thanked the Prime Minister for the 500 ICU beds being readied in Delhi by the DRDO and urged him to raise the number of these beds to 1000.

The Delhi government has received much support from the Centre during the pandemic so far, he said and hoped that the Prime Minister will help further by providing beds and oxygen for COVID patients.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi Chief Minister said less than 100 ICU beds are available in Delhi now and said he spoke to Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday morning and stressed on the need of beds for the COVID patients. 

“I spoke to Home Minister Amit Shah today and informed him of our dire need of beds and oxygen.  We are constantly in touch with the Centre and getting help from it,” he said. 

Kejriwal who had talked to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday, requested the Centre to reserve at least 7,000 of 10,000 beds in hospitals run by it in Delhi as COVID beds and ensure immediate supply of oxygen. 

Currently, only 1,800 of 10,000 central government hospital beds are reserved for COVID-19 patients, he said. 

The Delhi government in the next 2-3 days will come up with 6,000 beds with oxygen facility at Yamuna Sports Complex, Radha Swami Satsang Beas premises and schools, Kejriwal said.      

It is also arranging high flow oxygen beds for patients in some hospitals, he said.    

“In the last 24 hours, approximately 25,500 cases of COVID have come up. Before that, we had around 24,000 cases, and before that, we had 19,500 cases,” he said. 

“We have noted that the number of available beds reserved for COVID patients is reducing at a fast rate. We are falling short of ICU beds. In Delhi, we are now left with less than 100 ICU beds. We are falling short of oxygen as well,” Kejriwal said. 

Last night, a private hospital informed that the shortage of oxygen was so severe that they just about managed to prevent a tragedy, he said.            

The chief minister said Delhi’s people ar fully cooperating in implementation of ongoing weekend curfew imposed in view of soaring infections and thanked doctors, religious and social organisations, NGOs and the Centre for their help in the fight against the deadly virus. PTI

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