Delhi government has sought help from the Centre to depute Armed Forces in the national capital to set up and operationalise the Covid-19 facilities.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia made the appeal through a letter written on Sunday to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh for lending services of the Armed Forces to set up Covid facilities here in the city with about 10,000 oxygenated non-ICU beds and 1,000 ICU beds.
Mentioning that Delhi is in the midst of unprecedented Covid surge which has stretched the health infrastructure to the maximum level, Sisodia said: “I shall be grateful if your Ministry could lend the services of our Armed Forces to set-up, operationalise and run some Covid health facilities with about 10,000 oxygenated Non-ICU beds and 1,000 ICU beds.”
“Since the entire health infrastructure machinery is overwhelmed with the management of the existing hospitals and the upcoming Covid hospitals or care centres, it will be timely help to the people of Delhi if the Ministry of Defence, with the considerable resources at its commands, is tasked with the responsibility to provide and man the additional Covid health facilities as per the current projections.”
The Deputy CM also requested the Ministry of Defence to make arrangements for supply of medical oxygen for the Covid health facility to be set up.
Sisodia sought the help noting “Indian Army has always stood at the forefront during every time of crisis, helped and protected the citizens of his great nation”.
Considering the enormous number of cases, Sisodia said, the additional health infrastructure, being set up by the Delhi government is likely to be filled up as soon as it is ready and we need at least 10,000 oxygenated non-ICU beds and 1,000 ICU beds at the earliest to overcome this crisis.
The Deputy CM also informed that Delhi at present has 16,272 non-ICU oxygen beds and 4,866 ICU beds, and that the Delhi government is creating an additional 15,000 oxygenated non-ICU beds and 1,200 ICU beds which are likely to be operationalised over the next ten days.
In the letter, Sisodia further said: “The other requirement at the moment of crisis is the regular supply of medical oxygen.”
The government of India allocates medical oxygen to the various states and Delhi is grateful to the efforts of the Centre in augmenting the supply of medical oxygen, said Sisodia, adding “from the initial allocation of 378 MT per day, government of India has increased the allocation to 490 MT on April 24 and thereafter to 590 MT”.
“The additional allocation to Delhi has been made from the plants located more than 1,500 km from Delhi like Durgapur, Rourkela and Kalinga Nagar. Delhi government with necessary help from the government of India and other state governments, is augmenting the transport infrastructure by sourcing cryogenic tankers even from abroad,” Sisodia said.
“It would be an extraordinary help from our Armed Forces if the Ministry of Defence can provide cryogenic tankers for transport of Liquid Medical Oxygen”.
Sisodia also informed that the Delhi government has deployed all available medical professionals in manning the Covid hospitals and Covid care centres, and it is also in process of recruiting retired doctors and para medical teams.
Still, the Aam Aadmi Party leader said, the availability is extremely limited considering the huge demand. “The Ministry of Defence may also kindly provide medical and para medical teams to supplement the medical manpower of Delhi.”
At the end of the letter, Sisodia mentioned that the requirements may be considered on humanitarian grounds in this hour of unprecedented health crisis, noting “the operational details can be mutually worked out after receipt of in principle approval from the Defence Ministry”.
On an average, there have been 25,000 new Covid cases in Delhi every day and about 10 per cent of them require some form of hospitalisation including oxygen support.