The Union Government has asked Delhi to make all out efforts to lift its allocated oxygen, using all the means at its disposal, to ensure the oxygen available to it is distributed rationally and in a transparent manner, with no diversion or leakage.
Expressing anguish over the recent Covid deaths in Delhi due to lack of oxygen, cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba in a meeting held to review the Covid preparedness in the national capital said Delhi needs to ramp up medical infrastructure at the earliest to cater to the increasing demand for Covid beds, ICUs and ventilators.
He also asked the Delhi government to make all relevant information on Covid beds, medicines and other facilities available on websites so that people in need can approach the right place.
Gauba said a helpline serviced through a dedicated and well-staffed call centre should be created at the front end, to provide relevant clinical information.
The Delhi government recently said that it has been allocated 490 tonnes against a total demand of 976 tonnes. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in a letter to industrialists said, “Delhi does not produce any oxygen, and as you’re aware, Delhi currently faces an acute shortage of oxygen. I would be grateful if you could provide the Delhi government with oxygen along with cryogenic tankers for its movement.”
On the issue of adequate medical and healthcare human resources, Gauba asked the Delhi Government to create flexible procedures to engage the services of retired medical professionals.
Cabinet Secretary also asked for further augmentation of testing facilities and timely availability of test results. The health ministry has also stressed the need to restart the earlier practice of transparent electronic displays, at each hospital site, that will show the number of beds available in that facility for COVID patients.
Setting up oxygen audit Committees in various hospitals and medical facilities, was also one of the suggestions made in the review meeting.
V K Paul, member-health, Niti Aayog, also present in the meeting said that smaller nursing homes and hospitals should be roped in to ramp up health infrastructure for Covid patients and Covid Care Centres be opened in hotels.
Paul also said that the Delhi Medical Association be requested to offer around 50 doctors, who can voluntarily provide medical consultation to COVID-19 patients on use of medicines, oxygen concentrators and other medical facilities.
The meeting was also attended by chief secretary, Delhi, senior officials of the Health Ministry, and Commissioners of Municipal Corporations of Delhi and Chairman, New Delhi Medical Corporation.