Coronavirus pandemic

Making efforts to airlift oxygen from Odisha: Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi CM appeals to state governments to help each other during the pandemic

New Delhi, April 22

The Delhi government is making efforts to airlift its enhanced quota of oxygen supply from Odisha, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday, as several city hospitals reported shortage of oxygen amid rising cases of coronavirus.             

Kejriwal thanked the Centre and the high court for their efforts towards raising Delhi’s oxygen quota for treating COVID 19 patients, and said supplies have started reaching the national capital.

He also urged the Central government and Haryana government to facilitate “smooth passage” to vehicles carrying medical oxygen to Delhi               

A major chunk of the freshly allotted quota of oxygen to Delhi comes from Odisha, which is hundreds of kilometres away, and the Delhi government is planning to airlift it to save time at this critical juncture in the fight against coronavirus, Kejriwal said in an online media briefing.

Later, the chief minister received a call from his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik assuring complete support to Delhi government in lifting oxygen.

“Recd a call from Sh Naveen Patnaik ji. He has assured complete support to Delhi in facilitating lifting of Delhi’s quota of oxygen from Orissa. He has put a spl officer on the job. Thank u sooo much Sir. Delhi is indeed grateful,” Kejriwal tweeted.

He said Delhi had a daily quota of 378 MT of medical oxygen that has been increased to 480 MT, and thanked the Central government for it. But, he said, more supplies are needed as according to estimates Delhi needs 700 MT of oxygen daily.

Delhi received its quota of oxygen as fixed by the Centre from other states, he said, but added, some states stopped trucks headed to the national capital.    

“This is not fair. This is a huge calamity and we need to fight it unitedly. If we are divided, India will not survive,” Kejriwal said.

He appealed to state governments to help each other during the pandemic and promised to provide them surplus oxygen, medicines and doctors if the COVID-19 situation came under control in Delhi. PTI

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